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Full text of "Life of Moscheles, with selections from his diaries and correspondence"

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LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 



VOL. I. 









5f3 



f 









LIFE OF MOSCH ELE8, 



WITH SIXKCTI0N> PROM 



HIS DIARIES AND CORRESPONDENCE, 



BV 



HIS WIFE. 



ADAPTED FROM THE ORIGINAL GERMAN 

BV 

A. D. COLERIDGE. 



IN TWO VOLUMES. ' 
VOL. I. 



LONDON : 

HUKST AND BLACKETT* PUBLISHERS, 

13, GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET. 
1873. 

All rights reserved. 



THESE VOLUM] 

I LDAPTED PROM THE GERM IN) 

\KK AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED 

ro 

SIR JOHN DUKE COLERIDGE, 

ATTORNEY-GENERAL OE ENGLAND, 

HIMSELF A LOVER OF MUSIC, 

AND ON MANY OCCASIONS 
ITS ELOQUENT ADVOCATE AND SUPPORTER. 



PREFACE. 



rpiIE reader will find in the following pages 
a truth ful record of the life and works ol 
]\ Tosendes, as also a chronicle of the musical 
history of his time ; for from the year 1814 up to 
the date of his deatli lie rarely omitted to enter 
in his diary reflections, more or less minute, 
on events that interested him. These entries, 
supplemented by letters from Moscheles and 
his wife to relatives and friends, are the 
groundwork of this Biography. Moscheles 
frequently expressed a wish that his art ex- 
periences, ranging over a period of nearly sixty 
years, as well as his relations to his musical 
contemporaries, should be published after his 
death. During his lifetime he entrusted to 
his wife the task of remodelling these notes, 
making many additions with his own hand. 



Vlll. PREFACE. 

It was his habit to communicate and explain 
to her his opinions and views on all subjects, 
so that she has been able to retain in her 
memory much that was not committed to 
writing. He hoped, in case she should survive 
him, by these means to have prepared her for 
carrying out his favourite object. The wish 
of a dear one taken from us is sacred, far 
above all personal feelings and petty conside- 
rations ; the Editor therefore, although not 
without diffidence, undertakes the arduous 
task as a duty bequeathed to her. Oth 
might perhaps have done the work better, none 
with such reverential love. 

May this book faithfully and impartially 
represent to the art-world Moscheles as an 
artist, and may it recall to his friends the 
picture of a friend. 

Charlotte Moscheles. 



NOTE. 



My best thanks are due to Felix Moscheles, 
Esq., not only for tlie advice and generous 
Lssistance lie has given me in the revision of 
the following pages., but for much specific 
information gatnerea from his father s manu- 
scripts and valuable collection of autographs, 
both musical and literary. Amongst these 
are such miscellaneous treasures as sketch-books 
of Beethoven, manuscript music of Sebastian 
Bach, Mozart, Weber, and Mendelssohn, and a 
correspondence, as yet unpublished, between 
Moscheles and Mendelssohn. 

For the versions of the two poems by Heine 
and Castelli, I ,am indebted to my friend, that i 
distinguished scholar and humourist, Charles 
Steuart Calverley, Esq. 

A. D. Coleridge. 



(L 









CONTENTS 



OF 



TUE FIRST VOLUME. 



CHAPTER I. 

1794—1814. 

Early Recollections — Musical Instinct — Too Quick for his Music- 
master — Indiscreet Friends — Beethoven *Fever — A Pupil of 
i)ionys Weber — A Candid Opinion — On the Wrong Road — 
Tomaschek — First Visit to the Opera-House — Death of Mos- 
cheles' Father — First Appearance in Public — Vienna — The 
Baroness Eskeles — Curious Attestatum — Beethoven — Salieri 

pp. 1—10 

CHAPTER II. 

1814—1816. 

Moscheles' Diary — Meyerbeer — Beethoven — Celebration of the 
Liberation of Germany — Compositions — Sonate Melancholique 
— Pupils — Habits of Study — Artistic Circle — Connexion with 
Beethoven — Congress of Verona — Imperial Festivities — Musical 
Entertainments — The Countess Hardegg — Alexander Varia- 
tions — Amusing Incident — Visit to Prague — The Ludlams- 
höhle — Moscheles and Hummel — Karlsbad — Schumann 

pp. 11—26 



XII CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER III. 

1816—1821. 

Impressions of Leipzig — Conversation with Beethoven — Schicht - 
Professor Schulze — Gewandhaus Concerts — I s Coffee- 

House — Moscheles' Concert — Concert at Altenburg Dresden — 
Spontini's "Vestalin" at the Opera- -Introduction to the 
Artistic World — Goethe and Music — Anecdote of Haydn — 
Performance before the Court —Intrigues of Polledro — Munich 
— Excursion to Holland — Musical Life in Brussels — Paris 
Spohr pp. 27 — S" 



CHAPTER IV. 
L821. 
Baron Poifere de Core — Spohr — (lall the Phrenologist — Diary of .1 

Day — Concert at the Theatre Fuvart- ith Lufont — 

Concerts Bpiritoeft — A Carious Bet An Evening at Ciceri's — 
The Theatres of Paris I aing of I Bordeaai — 

Mistaken for a Courier — London — A Lean ter Musical 

Celebrities - I [er Majesty 's Theatre -Braham — Soirees and ( Jon- 
certs Visit to Kalkbrenner— The Erards — August Leo 

pp. 38 



CHAPTER V. 

1822. 

Mälzel's Metronome— New Work by Beethoven — Mile. Mock 
(Madame Plevel) — Concert at Rouen — London — Cramer's Con- 
cert — A New "Work of Moscheles — Broadwood's Pianos — 
F. Cramer — London Rehearsals — Bochsa the Harp-player — 
Monster Programme — Fashionable Soirees— Concert for the 
Poor Irish — Excursion to Brighton — At Home in England 

pp. 6f> — 70 



CONTENTS. Mil 

CHAPTER VI. 

1823. 

Visit to Bath — Lady Pupils — Quid pro Quo — Oratorio Concerts — 
Unflagging Industry — Musical Engra/ing — Conductors and 
Leaders — Artistic Jealousies — English Amateurs — The Charity 
Children at St. Paul's — Musical Prodigies — F. lliller, Schau- 
roth, Malibran — Sir George Smart — Visit to Germany — An 
Adventure — Nights in the Dirnbeck-Kneipe — Rehearsals of 
Weber's " Euryanthe " at Vienna — Visit to Beethoven — Salieri 
in the Hospital pp. 71—90 



CHAPTER VII. 

1824. 

Prague — Inauguration of the Redoutensaal — Reception by the 
Emperor — Series of Concerts— Respect for his Old Master — 
Dresden — Artistic Society — Tieck — C. M. von Weber — Per- 
formance before the Court — Leipzig — Distinguished Critics and 
Artists — Berlin — Relations to the Mendelssohn Family — Frau 
Varnhagen von Ense (Rahel) — Felix Mendelssohn — Zelter — 
Potsdam — Magdeburg pp. 91—103 



CHAPTER VIII. 

1825. 

Hanover — The Duke of Cambridge — Hamburg — Marriage to Char- 
lotte Embden — Paris — Intercourse with Distinguished Men — 
Reception in London — Mori's Monster Concerts — Sebastian 
Erard's Invention — Advantage of Numbering Concert Tickets — 
Habits of Study— Sir Michael Costa — Sundays with the de- 
mentis — The Collards — Holiday Excursions and Concerts — 
A Liverpool Rehearsal— The Christmas Waits . pp. 104—114 



XIV CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER IX. 

1826. 

Stormy Voyage to Ireland — Impressions of Dublin — Reception at 
the Castle — Return to London — Musical Activity — C. M. von 
Weber — " Der Freyschütz" at Covent Garden — Improvisation 
— Rehearsal of " Oberon" — Braham's Benefit — Caprice of the 
« Gods"— Weber's Concert— Death of Weber— Thalberg— Visit 
to Germany — Sontag — Felix Mendelssohn — Art and Artists in 
Berlin pp. 115—137 



CHAPTER X. 

1827. 

Tour in Germany — Spohr — Elector of Hesse-Cassel — Musical Pupils 
— Tyrolese Singers — Escape from a Difficulty — Liszt — Letters 
from Beethoven — His Melancholy Condition — Correspondence 
with Schindler and Rau — Beethoven's Relatives — Carl van 
Beethoven — Generous Assistance of the London Philharmonic 
Society — Death of Beethoven — Stars in London — Dinner to 
Clementi— Heine the Poet pp. 138—199 



CHAPTER XI. 

1828. 

Edinburgh — 'Curious Architecture — Sir Walter Scott — A Delightful 
Visit — Highlanders and the Bagpipes — Scott's Appreciation of 
German Literature — Contribution to Moscheles' Album — Scotch 
Church Service — Visits to the Lions of Edinburgh — Spurzheim 
the Phrenologist — Life of a Musician in London — Mademoiselle 
Sontag — Peter Pixis — Fete at Vauxhall — Scott and the Prima 
Donna — Mademoiselle Mars pp. 200—219 



CONTENTS. \\ r 

CHAPTER XII. 

1829. 

Moscheles' Productions — Fugitive Pieces — Expense of Private 
Concerts — Domestic Sorrows — Visit of Felix Mendelssohn- 
Bartholdy — The Chevalier Neukomm — A Cinque-Cento of 
Vocalists — De Beriot— " Troubadours"and " Bohemian Brothers" 
— Artists' Concerts — Power of the Italian Opera — Laporte — 
Handel's "Ada and Galatea" — Visit to Hamburg — Remi- 
niscences of a Tour in Denmark and Sweden . pp. 220 — 240 



CHAPTER XIII. 

1830-1831. 

An Accident — Hummel — Madame Malibran — Music in England — 
Failure of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony — Erard's Pianos — 
Henry LitolfF — Neukomm — Philharmonic Concerts — First Rail- 
way Journey — Operatic Celebrities — Field's Return to London 
— Paganini — Prodigies from the Continent — Visits of Intimate 
Friends — The Reform Agitation — A Musical Festival — Cele- 
bration of Christmas pp. 241 — 260 



CHAPTER XIV. 

1832. 

Moscheles as an Orchestral Writer — Death of Clement! — German 
Opera in London — The Italian Opera — " Robert le Diable" — 
Centenary of Haydn's Birth — The Elder Mathews — Pianists and 
Prime Donne — Literary and Artistic Friends— Mendelssohn's 
" Lieder ohne Worte" — Art-Congress — Anecdote of Schröder — ■ 
Moscheles' Birthday — Paganini — Visit to Berlin — Intercourse 
with the Mendelssohns — Leipzig and Weimar — Souvenir of 
Goethe — At the Pavilion, Brighton — Beethoven's " Messe Solen- 
nelle" pp. 261—280 



XVI CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XV. 

1833. 

Concerts in the North of England — Birth of a Son — Congratulatory 
Letter from Felix Mendelssohn — John Parry — Herz — Handel's 
" Messiah" — Pasta — Madame Malibran — Chopin's " Studies" — 
Mendelssohn in London — Illness of Mendelssohn's Father — 
Coleridge — Moore — Lockhart — Seaside Music — Lessons given 
during the Year pp. 281—301 



CHAPTER XVI. 

1834. 

Stars of the Italian Opera — Grisi, Rubini, and Tamburini — De 
Vrugt — Vieuxtemps — Lady Violin-players— Festival in West- 
minster Abbey — Distribution of the Chorus — Comparison of the 
two Festivals in 1784-1831 — Solo-singers — Tenors and So- 
pranos — " Israel in Egypt" — "The " Messiah" — Demeanour of 
the Audience — Festival at Birmingham — Overture to " Joan of 
Arc" -Byron's " Manfred" at Covent Garden . pp. 302—312 



CHAPTER XVII. 

1835. 

" Trial Night" of the Philharmonic Society— An Unmannerly 
Nobleman — Litolff's Compositions — Berlioz' " Symphonie Fan- 
tastique" — Musical Pains and Pleasures — Julius Benedict — 
Cramer's Retirement — Visit to Germany — Leipzig — Intercourse 
with Musical Artists — Felix Mendelssohn — Letters to Madame 
Moscheles — Concert — Berlin — A Family Fete — Musical Ab- 
surdities — A Painful Affair — Death of Mendelssohn's Father — 
Holland and Belgium pp. 313 — 333 



LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 



CHAPTEE I. 
1794—1814. 

EARLY RECOLLECTIONS — MUSICAL INSTINCT — TOO QUICK FOR HIS 
MUSIC-MASTER — INDISCREET FRIENDS — BEETHOVEN FEVER — A 
PUPIL OF DIONYS WEBER — A CANDID OPINION — ON THE WRONG 
ROAD — TOMASCHEK — FIRST VISIT TO THE OPERA-HOUSE— DEATH 
OF MOSCHELES' FATHER — FIRST APPEARANCE IN PUBLIC — VIENNA 
— THE BARONESS ESKELES — CURIOUS ATTESTATUM — BEETHOVEN — 
SALIERI. 

THE time of life preceding the period when 
Moscheles began to keep a diary (1814) has 
been described by him in the following memoranda, 
which are here given verbatim : — 

" I was born at Prague on the 30th of May, 1794, 
so that my memory carries me back as far as the 
beginning of the century. In those days I heard the 
great French Revolution and all its horrors, constantly 
discussed. Military instincts were uppermost, even 
in the minds of boys, and there was no end to the 
playing at soldiers. When the military band performed ...^ 
parade music in front of the guard-house, I was selidom 
absent. The bandsmen got little boys to hold their 
music for them, and I was always at hand to undertake 

VOL. I. B 



' 



2 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

the duty. Coming home all enthusiasm from these 
street concerts, I used to say, ' 1 too a\ i 1 1 be a 
musician ' (Spielmann). My mother was kindness, 
love, and affection itself; she was constantly attentive 
to the wants of her husband and her five children. 
The marriage was a happy one. My father, a cloth- 
merchant by trade, found Leisure, with all Ids business, 
to keep up his music, which he Loved devotedly. He 
played the guitar, and sang as well. I owe to him 
w\\ first impulses towards a musical career, for he 
used constantly to say, 'One of my children must 
become a tnoroughored musician ' — words which made 
me desire that 1 might be that one child. My 
father, however, began with my eldest sister. During 
her pianoforte Lessons, I used to stand, mouth and 
ears wide open, by the upper C (the extreme Limit of the 
little instrument), watching how my sister worked l*er 
way through the little pieces, which she never thoroughly 
mastered. When by myself 1 had tried to -pell out 
these same pieces, it seemed to me anything hut a 
difficult matter. My sister's clumsy playing was 
trying to my temper, and on one occasion I forgot 
myself so far as to call out, ' Dear me, how stupid ! 
I could do it hotter myself/ Zadrakha, the old 
master, chuckled incredulously, hut allowe^me never- 
theless to jump up on the music-stool and play instead 
of my sister. His report to my father must have 
heen a favourable one, for a few days afterwards I 
was suddenly informed that a trial should he made 
with me instead of my sister. 



EAKLV RECOLLECTIONS. 3 

" "Who in the world could be happier than I ? The 
pianoforte lessons were started at once, and 1 made 
rapid progress — too rapid perhaps for the old music- 
master, to whose dreary, monotonous exercises 1 was 
not disposed to submit. | I subscribed out of my own 
pocket-money to a circulating music-library, and took 
away as many as half a dozen pieces at a time — pieces 
by Kozeluchj Eberl, Pleyel, and others, which I 
*\ / scampered through. Whether my master took um- 
brage at this proceeding, or was dismissed by my 
father, I know not ; anyhow he left off teaching 

me. 

" Our friends thought they were doing my father and 

myself a service by taking me occasionally with them 

to the houses of neighbours and acquaintance, where 

my performances, miserable as they must have been, 

caused me to be petted and admired as an infant 

prodigy. Naturally, 1- enjoyed all. ihe compliments, 

kisses, and all kinds of endearments heaped" on me 

by the ladies. My father, however, soon put a stop to 

this mischief, by reprimanding my indiscreet friends. 

He argued rightly that such practices were not 

calculated^ to advance me. The more the musical 

instinct stirred within me, the more gentle and 

tender was his treatment; but many a time did 

I get into trouble when I presumed to slink away 












from the 
make s 



e piano and the odious finger-exercises, to 
.bbards, helmets, and other pasteboard armour, 



to distribute amongst my troop. After all, I had 

B 2 



4 LIFE OF MOSCH ELES. 

my duties as a Captain, and felt myself bound to 
furnish my men with new equipments. 

"Meanwhile I had advanced, under my new musical 
teacher Horzclskv, to the study of more important 
pieces, wine li did not however prevent my regularly 
attending school. Although but seven years old, I 
actually ventured upon Beethoven's Sonate Pathetique. 
Imagine if you can how I played it ; imagine also the 
Beethoven fever, to which I fell a victim in those 
days — a fever which goaded me on to mangle the other 
great works of the immortal author. 

" My father put a check to this mischief by taking me 
one day to Dionys Weber. ' I come/ he said, ' to you, 
as our first musician, for sincere truth instead of empty 
flattery. I want to find out if my boy has such 
genuine talent that you can make a really good 
musician of him/ Naturally, I was called on to play, 
and I was bungler enough to do it with some conceit. 
My mother having decked me out in my Sunday best, 
I played my best piece, Beethoven's Sonate Pathetique. 
But what was my astonishment on finding that I was 
neither interrupted by bravos nor overwhelmed with 
praise ; and what were my feelings when Dionys Weber 
finally delivered himself thus ? ' Candidly speaking, the 
boy is on the wrong road, for he makes a hash of great 
works, which he does not understand, and to which 
he is utterly unequal. But he has talent, and I could 
make something of him if you would hand him over to me 
for three years, and follow out my plan to the letter. 



STUDIES UNDER DIONYS WEBER, 5 

The first year lie must play nothing but Mozart, the 
second Clementi, and the third Bach ; but only that — 
not a note as yet of Beethoven, and if he persists in 
using the circulating libraries, I have done with him 
for ever/ 

" My father agreed to all these terms, and on my 
way home I received many a golden precept on the 
subject of my studies, which were now to be begun in 
sober earnest. I was told that if I went through 
them conscientiously and thoroughly, I should bring 
credit to myself, my father, and all the family. Gladly 
would I have resigned this remote prospect for my 
beloved Beethoven, and the constant varied enjoyments 
of my circulating library. But as it was, I had been 
expelled from Paradise, and must begin to toil in the 
sweat of my brow. My father, who generally came 
himself to fetch me home after lessons, questioned 
Weber very closely on the subject of my progress, and 
if the report was thoroughly satisfactory, I was 
invariably rewarded with a visit to the confectioner's. 

" Weber and his contemporary Tomaschek were 
opposed to one another — the former representing the 
German, and the latter the Italian school. 'Who 
on earth is there, excepting Mozart, Clementi, and 
Bach ?' said Weber. ( A pack of crazy, hare-brained 
fools, who turn the heads of our young people. 
Beethoven, clever as he is, writes a lot of hare- 
brained stuff, and leads pupils astray/ He would 
dwell however with enthusiasm on the beauties of 



6 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

Mozart, rejoice in the original intricacies and com- 
binations of Bach, and interpret them by dint of his 
vast theoretical knowledge. His own compositions 
were not successful. Not a publisher could be found 
for them ; they were lithographed at his own expec 
and lay piled up in his study. When he began to take 
delight in my progress, he made me play his music in 
his presence at the houses of Count Clam-G alias and 
Schlick, but without much success. Then, as in later 
years at Vienna, my efforts failed to make his works 
popular. Tomaschek held a very different art creed. 
His compositions however equally failed to make 
their way. 

u One day when Weber had given my father repeated 
assurances that I should do something in the world, I 
was rewarded by being taken for the first time to the 
theatre. The opera was that of ' Achilles/ by Paer ; 
it was a new work, and I was particularly delighted with 
the funeral march. When I came home, I played it 
correctly from beginning to end, and drew tears from 
my dear father's eyes. A visit to the Opera House, 
which was now and then allowed to me, was a source 
of the greatest enjoyment. AVould to God I could 
have kept for years my excellent and judicious 
father ! He was taken from us suddenly by typhus 
fever, and, as a boy of fourteen years of age, 1 stood 
weeping by the side of his coffin. Time has soothed 
my sorrow, but never chilled my gratitude and love. 
His wish, repeated over and over again during his 



FIRST APPEARANCE IN PUBLIC. / 

illness, to hear my first composition, was destined 
never to be fulfilled ; but his death, and the not too 
affluent circumstances in which he left his family, 
were the reasons of my first public appearance in 
Prague. Dionys Weber's opinion being that I ought 
to rely solely on myself, and was quite able to 
do so, he allowed me to finish the concerto which I 
had been working at, and then to give a musical 
soiree, where I was much applauded and earned some- 
thing for my pains. My mother was greatly com- 
forted by this event, but an old uncle declared I was 
on the road to ruin, and would end by playing at 
dancing parties ; that if I had taken to business 1 
might have had the good fortune to find my way to 
the wealthy city of Hamburg, and who could say I 
might not have married the daughter of some great 
merchant ! Well, I did not become a c beer- fiddler/ as 
the good old man sometimes used to call me, and I 
never got a place in a merchant's office. The second 
half of his wish, however, was realized in after-years : 
I went to Hamburg, and married a Hamburg lady. 

" A short time after the death of my father my 
mother sent her young musician to Vienna. It cost 
her a struggle, but she yielded to the advice of her 
friends. At Vienna I was to continue my studies, 
and earn my own bread and independence. I re- 
member with gratitude the hearty welcome and 
kind attentions I received in the family circles of 
Lewinger and Eskeles, and in the house of the Italian 



8 LIFE OF MOSCH ELES. 

Artaria, who afterwards published my first composi- 
tions. A relation of the Baroness Eskcles gave large 
musical parties, in which I was allowed to take a part. 
The daughter of the house was a pupil of Streicher, and 
a warm supporter of his school. Both master and pupil 
fancied they alone were genuine and correct pianoforte 
players. The lady advised me to listen frequently to 
her daughter's playing, and at the same time to take 
lessons of Streicher. The first half of this advice 
seemed to me arrogant on her part, and to follow the 
latter would have been ungrateful. I owed so much 
to my old friend Dionys Weber. Should I now, as a 
deserter, serve under another flag ? No, I determined 
to build for the future only on the groundwork he had 
constructed with such infinite pains. I would hear 
and examine everything, and appropriate all that was 
good according to my best ability, but I would remain 
his grateful pupil to the last." 

Moscheles did not fail to keep up his connexion 
with Streicher, and gladly acknowledged himself 
indebted to him for many hints, although he would 
not bind himself down to copy his style of playing. 
He was a constant attendant at the musical evenings 
given by the best connoisseurs, with whom the society 
at Vienna in those days abounded. Many of the 
Viennese ladies had been admirably taught, and the 
youthful Moscheles modestly admitted their superiority 
in delicacy of touch and expression, and soon learned 
to appropriate these qualities. At the same time he 



CURIOUS ATTESTATUM. 9 

became a laborious student of the theory of music, 

under the Dom- Kapellmeister Albrechtsberger, who 

on parting gave him the following curiously worded 

testimonial : — 

" Attestatum. 

" The undersigned testifies that Ignatz Moscheles 
has for some months acquired under me such a good 
knowledge of thorough Bass and Counterpoint that he 
is cajfhble (as he plays in a masterly way on the 
pianoforte and organ as well) of earning his bread 
anywhere with both these arts. And as he now wishes 
to set out on his travels, I think it only fair to 
warmly recommend him in all places he may choose 
to visit. 

"Vienna, 28th September, 1808. 
(Seal) " Georgius Albrechtsberger, 

" Kapellmeister in der 

" Domkirche zu St. Stephan." 

" As a matter of course," Moscheles continues, "the 
great Beethoven was the object of my deepest venera- 
tion. Having so exalted an opinion of him, I could 
not understand how the Viennese ladies just mentioned 
had the courage to invite him to listen to their 
musical performances, and play his compositions in 
his presence. He must have liked it, however, for at 
that period he was frequently to be met with at these 
evening entertainments. His unfortunate deafness 
might have made him reluctant to perform on the 
piano, so that he entrusted these ladies with the first 



10 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

playing of his new compositions. But how astonished 
I was one day when calling upon Hof kapellmeister 
Salieri, who was not at home, to see on his table a 
sheet of paper on which was written, in large, bold 
characters; ' The pupil Beethoven lias been here/ 
That set me thinking. What ! a Beethoven acknow- 
ledges he has yet to learn of a Salieri ! How much 
more then do I stand in need of his teaching ! Salieri 
had been the pupil and most fervent admirer of Cluck, 
but it was well known that he would not acknowledge 
Mozart's works. Notwithstanding this, I went to him, 
became his pupil, was his deputy Kapellmeister at the 
Opera for three years, and received as such a free pass 
to all the theatres. Those were happy and busy days 
in dear old Vienna !" 



11 



CHAPTER II. 

1814— 181G, 

Mos' !l' i.r.s' DIARY — MEYEBBEEB BEETHOVEN — CELEBRATION OF THE 
LIBERATION OF QEBMANY — COMPOSITIONS — SONATE MELANCO- 
LIQUE — PUPILS — HABITS OF STUDY — ARTISTIC CI RCLE — CONNEXION 
Willi BEETHOVEN — CONOBESS OE VEBONA — IMPERIAL FESTIVI- 
TIES — MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENTS — THE COUNTKSS HABDEOG — 
ALEXANDER VARIATION'S — AMUSING [NCIDENT — VISIT TO 
PRAGUE — THE LUDLAMSHÖHLE — MOSCHELES AND HUMMEL — 
KARLSBAD— SCHUMANN. 

THE diary, which begins on the 1st of April, 1814, 
opens to us a life full of cheerful activity. The 
youth, just turned twenty, is dependent entirely on 
his own exertions, and earns at artistic reunions or at 
public performances his first laurels as an executant as 
well as a composer. 

On the 8th of April he hears for the first time 
Meyerbeer, who plays a rondo of his own composition. 
We quote from the diary : — " Thoroughly convinced of 
his masterly playing, I was still curious to see what 
effect it would have on a mixed audience, and re- 
marked that even those passages which possibly were 
not understood, caused great astonishment — chiefly on 
account of the mastery shown in overcoming great 
difficulties." 



12 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

On the 10th of April Moscheles' diary mentions the 
great enthusiasm which the intelligence of the taking 
of Paris produced at Vienna ; how the populace, in 
great excitement, marched through the streets, singing 
national songs. 

"April 11. — At a matinee in the ' Römischen 
Kaiser/ I heard a new trio by Beethoven. It was no 
less than the Trio in B flat, and Beethoven himself 
played the pianoforte part. In how many compositions 
do we find the little word ' new ' wrongly placed ! 
But never in Beethoven's compositions ; least of all 
in this work, which is full of originality. His playing, 
apart from the spirit prevailing in it, satisfied me less, 
for it lacks clearness and precision ; still I observed 
several traces of the grand style of playing which I 
had long since recognised in his compositions/'' 

The great event, the liberation of Germany, was vibra- 
ting in the hearts of even the light-minded Viennese, and 
not only their poets, but their musicians also, vied with 
each other in celebrating the event. Spohr wrote his 
" Befreites Deutschland ;" Hummel celebrated the 
return of the Kaiser; Moscheles wrote the " Entry 
into Paris," and afterwards a sonata entitled " The 
Return of the Kaiser." The Jewish congregation at 
Vienna, to which he at that time belonged, com- 
missioned him to write for the occasion a cantata, 
which was performed very impressively and then re- 
arranged for the pupils of the famous Guntz Institute, 
who played it before the foreign princes. He also 



SONATE MELANCHOLIQUE. 13 

wrote six Scherzos, "Variations on a Theme by 
Handel ;" his Rondo for Four Hands in A ; minuets 
and trios ; Austrian Ländler, for Artaria's Collection of 
National Dances ; the Polonaise in E flat ; a Sonata for 
Pianoforte and Violin \ another for Piano and Bassoon, 
and lastly, the subject of the " Sonate Melancolique" 
— thought by himself and competent judges to be one 
of his best works. The diary proves that this subject, 
which occurred to him whilst giving a lesson, was 
worked out with particular pleasure. Pupils, and those 
of the highest rank, had become so numerous that he 
was obliged to refuse any addition to their number. 
The diary shows that invitations never interfered with 
his studies, since he tried to make up for lost time by 
composing during the small hours of the night. In 
spite of this, by 7 a.m. the day's work was begun with 
the study of English and both pianoforte and violin 
exercises. That he judged himself severely is shown 
by such notes as these : — 

" To-day I was much applauded, especially by Count 
P., who was quite enthusiastic ; but I was not satisfied 
with myself." And again, " The company was 
enchanted ; but I was not. I must do much better 
than that." And once again, " I was not to be 
talked over into playing, for I should not have done 
anything worth hearing to-day, and always see cause 
to repent, when I have been inveigled to the piano 
against my inclination. " 

The unceremonious artistic circle of the family of L., 



14 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

at Dornbach, near Vienna, where Salieri, Meyerbeer, 
Hummel, and others were to be met with, is described by 
Moscheles as particularly congenial to his tastes. " On 
delightful summer evenings walks were taken, tableaux 
arranged, all sorts of musical trifles composed and per- 
formed on the spot." 

At this period he came into closer connexion with 
Beethoven. " The proposal is made to me," he writes, 
to arrange the great masterpiece, ' Fidelio,' for the 
piano. "What can be more delightful ?" 

We now come across constant short notices in the 
diary ; for instance, he tells how he has taken two 
numbers at one time to Beethoven, then again two 
others; next come occasional notes — such as, "he altered 
little," or " he altered nothing," " he simplified " 
such and such a passage, or " he strengthened it." 

Again : " When I came early in the morning to 
Beethoven, he was still lying in bed \ he happened to 
be in remarkably good spirits, jumped up immediately, 
and placed himself, just as he was, at the window 
looking out on the Schottenbastei, with the view of 
examining the ' Fidelio' numbers which I had arranged. 
Naturally, a crowd of street bovs collected under the 
window, when he roared out, ' Now what do these 
confounded boys want V I laughed, and pointed to 
his own figure. ' Yes, yes ; you are quite right/ be 
said, and hastily put on a dressing-gown. 

" When we came to the last grand duet, ' Namen- 
lose Freude/ and I had written the words of the text — 



REMINISCENCES OF BEETHOVEN. 15 

' Bet-terin des Gat-ten,' he struck them out and altered 
them to ' Bett-erin des Gatt-en / ' for no one/ said he, 
can sing upon t. J Under the last number I had written 
' Fine mit Gottes Hülfe' (the end with the help of 
God). He was not at home when I brought it him; 
and on returning my manuscript, the words were added, 
' O, Mensch, hilf dir selber' (Oh, man, help thyself)/' 

"We read on the 29th November : " At Beethoven's 
concert at noon, in the large Bedoutensaal. He gave 
his glorious Symphony in A major, the Cantata ' Der 
glorreiche Augenblick,' and the ' Battle of Vittoria.' 
Everything was worthy of him." 

In winter Moscheles is commissioned to write the 
Carrousel music, to be performed in the presence of 
the foreign princes. He writes : " The Biding School 
was brilliantly illuminated, and mediaeval decorations 
had transformed it into a kind of arena. Twenty-four 
knights in armour did their part admirably, and 
their ladies were in splendid costume. T never saw such 
a fine pageant." Whenever he visits the classical 
quartet performances of the Schuppanzig party 
he praises the admirable execution, especially of 
Beethoven's quartets ; observing on one of these 
occasions, " How could Spohr speak against Beethoven 
and his imitators ?" 

During the great Congress at Vienna we find 
Moscheles and his young friends eagerly joining the 
enthusiastic crowd which surrounds the royal family 
of Austria, to welcome the Kings of Wiirtemberg, 



16 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

Denmark, Prussia, and lastly, the Emperor of Russia. 
The Hiller regiment plays a march composed by 
Moscheles. The Burgplatz, the Imperial family at 
the window, the foreign princes below, everybody and 
everything en fete, the theatre in the evening, and the 
brilliant illuminations excite his admiration. 

A few days later he describes a grand Court Ball in 
the Riding School, " changed into a garden, and the 
illuminations brilliant as daylight. Our own Emperor 
personally superintended the arrangements for the 
comfort of his distinguished visitors. I saw every- 
thing and everybody, and remained there until three 
o'clock in the morning." 

Again : ft St. Stephen's tower in a blaze of fire- 
works at the people's fete in the Augarten was most 
beautiful ; the artistic rainbow, the imitations of the 
Brandenburg Gate, and the column constructed of 
French cannon left in Russia, well worth seeing. The 
' Yestalin/ by Spontini ; Rossini's ( Mose,' and ' Jean 
de Paris/ as well as Handel's oratorio of ' Samson' were 
performed before the Princes." " Handel's l Samson !' " 
exclaims Moscheles, with youthful enthusiasm, " which 
always strengthens and elevates my soul ! The first 
time I heard it, I was in ecstasies of delight ; since 
then I have heard every rehearsal and performance of 
this masterpiece, and always found myself refreshed 



anew." 



Many youthful pranks were played, and many 
practical jokes devised with his artistic colleagues 



MEYERBEER. 17 

Merck and Giuliani, the poets Castelli and Campani, 
and other jovial fellows. The intercourse with Meyer- 
beer materially benefited the artistic development of 
Moscheles, who constantly played to and with him and 
never tired of admiring him. He repeatedly says, 
" His bravura playing is unparalleled — it cannot be 
surpassed. I admire his own original manner of 
treating the instrument." 

For hours together they sat extemporizing and 
improvising on one 'piano; hence arose the "Invitation 
to a Bowl of Punch/' and other ducts. It was a hard 
matter for Moscheles to part from his friend, when 
the latter prepared to leave Vienna. Meyerbeer was 
at that time in his transition period. He began to 
apply himself to dramatic music, wrote an operetta 
for Berlin, and soon afterwards went to Paris, where 
he steadily pursued his career as a great dramatic 
composer. 

The new year opens as busily as its predecessor 
had closed. The most important event in this new 
year, and the most momentous in its consequences, 
was Moscheles' visit to the Countess Hardegg. 

" She sent for me," he says, " to ask me if I was 
willing to play at a concert on Ash Wednesday for 
the charitable institutions of Vienna. I was not very 
eager in the matter, because I had no new composi- 
tions, but she was not to be denied. ' Write some- 
thing, Moscheles, as quickly as you can, and let it be 
brilliant/ she said. ' Yes but what V I replied. 

VOL, I. C 



18 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

After much deliberation it was settled that I was to 

write variations upon the march played by the regiment 

bearing the name of the Emperor Alexander of Russia." 

He began writing the variations on the 29th of 

January, and finished them on the 5th of February. 

These are the famous Alexander Variations, of which 

it was said for many years that Moscheles alone 

could play them, and which won for him, both at 

Vienna and elsewhere on his artistic tours, his high 

reputation as a bravura player. There were certain 

parts in this composition which (twenty years later) 

sent a thrill of enthusiasm through the audience ; 

nay, when he would have been glad " to lock them 

away in some dark corner " — so that his c< youthful 

effort," as he called it, might be entirely forgotten — 

they were still rapturously called for, and those who 

had heard him play them in his youth would have him 

repeat them in his more mature age. 

In the diary of the 8th of February we read : — u To- 
day being Ash Wednesday, I had a rehearsal of my 
Alexander variations at the Kärtnerthor Theatre ; 
they went very well with the orchestra, and were 
much applauded. In the evening I played them at 
the concert given by the committee of noble ladies for 
the benefit of charitable institutions ; all the Allied 
Princes were present. The variations were unexpect- 
edly well received — they seemed to be the piece best 
appreciated during the evening." 

A concert given jointly with Hummel follows; the 



ALEXANDER VARIATIONS. 19 

art-loving Grand-Duchess of Weimar, who is present, 
cordially invites him to come to Weimar. " I am 
most proud/' he writes, " at Salieri's attending the 
concert and being satisfied with my performance/' 
Another note speaks of Moscheles' devotion to this 
master. (t My beloved master, Salieri, is in great 
danger ; he is suffering from inflammation on the 
lungs. God grant that his illness may take a favour- 
able turn !** After several days of anxiety he is 
allowed to see him, but not to speak to him, and then 
follow expressions of joy at his recovery. 

An amusing incident occurs on the 7th of May. 
The friends had taken a walk to Mödling (near 
Vienna), Moscheles had off-hand arranged the picnic 
music, and says, " To set every one going, I took 
the sticks out of the drummer's hands and thundered 
and nourished, whilst the violins twittered, the 
clarionets doodled, the trumpets clanged, and the 
bassoon growled. It was a wonderful ensemble/' 

His cheerful mood does not always predominate. 
Moscheles confides to his diary that, " not being up 
to the mark, I preferred leaving the company." 
Again we meet with this remark, " Played and 
pleased others, not myself." Then he works all the 
more industriously, and is cheered by the conscious- 
ness of uninterrupted progress and an almost in- 
variably unclouded intercourse with his friends. 

He is busy composing his Polonaise in E flat 
major, which became afterwards the last movement of 

c 2 



20 LTFE OF MOSCHELES. 

the concert in the same key ; but at the rehearsal he 
complains of the three discordant drums (in E flat, B 
flat, and C flat), and this complaint is repeated at nearly 
every performance, even in later years ; so that at last, 
in the year 1832, when Mendelssohn makes a humorous 
illustrated sketch of Mosclieles' works, he writes un- 
derneath, " Respect, sie sind eingestimmt \" (" All 
honour to them. They are in tunc !") Scarcely is the 
Polonaise finished, when he begins his Sestet. In after 
years he used to tell of his great anxiety at that time 
to write something in the style of Hummer's Septet. 
But he always winds up with the admission, u My 
ambition resulted in a light youthful effort, not to be 
compared with Hummers work." 

On one occasion at Dornbach a pelting storm drives 
a whole party, Moscheles included, to seek shelter in 
the house, and he is asked to play to the company, to 
compensate them for the loss of the walk. " I impro- 
vised," he said, " but in conjunction with the elements ; 
for with every flash of lightning I brought my playing 
to a pause, which allowed the thunder to make itself 
heard independently. " During the autumn his mother 
spends a fortnight with him ; he devotes himself to 
her entirely, and after she leaves, we find him re- 
suming his studies and his frequent attendance at the 
theatres. He also looks for incentives in the sister 
arts. Speaking, in the diary, of Oehlenschläger's 
" Correggio," he says : " I find so many beautiful 
things in it with reference to painters and painting, 



VISIT TO PRAGUE. 21 

that I applied it all to my own art, to impress it inde- 
libly on my mind." There are interesting notices 
interweaved in his diary at this period with reference to 
serenades (" Nacht-musiken ") practised at this time. 
Count Palffy gave six of them this winter in the 
Botanical Gardens. The performers, besides Moscheles, 
were Mayseder, Merck, Giuliani, and Hummel. At 
the first series, the Empress Marie Louise, the 
Archdukes Rainer and Rudolf, &c. &c, were present 
and the programme contains an arrangement of the 
overture to " Fidelio" (the chief parts by Moscheles 
and Mayseder) ; Sonata for piano and horn by Beet- 
hoven (Moscheles and Radezki) ; Polonaise by May- 
seder ; Rondo by Hummel, with quartet accompani- 
ment played by Moscheles. In the intervals there were 
jovial " Jodler," echoing merrily through the gardens, 
and a still more jovial supper. The other five Serenades, 
as well as one for the Empress Marie Louise, and half 
a dozen for the name-days of private people, were not 
less interesting. 

The first incident worthy of record in this new 
year (1816) is a journey to his native town, Prague, 
where he gave a concert for the poor, the proceeds of 
which amounted to 2400 florins. At Pesth he met 
with his usual success. Old friends and new gathered 
around him, the Batthyany and other noble families 
invited him to their country seats, and he was never 
weary of praising the artistic taste and hospitality of 
this circle. Scarcely had he returned to Vienna 



22 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

when he resumed his former pursuits. In those days 
he was a constant guest at the Ludlamshöhle, an 
artists' tavern, where poets, painters, musicians, and 
actors used to meet to spend an hour in unrestrained 
conviviality, and wit and wine were the order of the 
evening. Every member had his nickname ; and these 
Moscheles took as the words of a chorus composed for 
his jovial comrades. Often in after-years he fondly 
recalled the happy hours spent in this circle. 

Meanwhile Moscheles had, by dint of study and 
observation of the strong points of others, steadily 
improved in finish and execution, so that two camps 
were formed — the one preferring Hummel, the 
other Moscheles. Trustworthy contemporaries are of 
opinion that Hummel' s legato playing had not at that 
time been attained to by Moscheles ; Hummers touch, 
they said, was soft as velvet, his running passages 
perfect as a string of pearls ; whereas Moscheles, with 
his dashing bravura and youthful enthusiasm, carried 
away his hearers with irresistible force. There was no 
kind of personal rivalry between the two artists 
themselves. We have seen how Moscheles preferred 
Hummel's Septet to his own composition of the same 
kind. In return Hummel gave Moscheles tokens of 
the most sincere acknowledgment, such as entrusting 
him with a favourite pupil when obliged himself to be 
absent from Vienna. Moscheles mentions his inter- 
course with several other artists, amongst them 
Reichardt and Czerny, of whom he says : " No one 



HUMMEL — CZERNY. 23 

understood better how to strengthen the weakest 
fingers, or to lighten study by practical exercises, 
without neglecting to form the taste." Whilst recog- 
nising the merits of others, he cannot forbear saying, 
"We musicians, whatever we may be, are mere satellites 
of the great Beethoven, the dazzling luminary." 

Moscheles produced about this time his grand 
Sonata in E flat, for two performers, dedicated to 
the Archduke Rudolf of Austria, who played it in 
musician-like style at first sight with him. One concert 
follows another. Moscheles' reputation is rising, but, in 
spite of the homage paid him, he never relaxes, but ener- 
getically devotes himself to his regular studies. His 
friends urge him to try his fortune in the wide 
world ; he at first opposes their views. No wonder ! 
He felt so perfectly happy in his beloved Vienna, as a 
favourite of the public and the centre of a large circle 
of friends. His influential patrons and patronesses 
however prevail upon him to set out on longer ar- 
tistic travels, and remove all obstacles attending such 
a plan. We next find him at Prague, and read, "How 
delightful it is once more to be with mother and 
sisters ! What pleasure it gives me to play before 
them; no one listens as they do." And again, "To- 
day my sisters and I had some of our old childish fun — 
a regular game of romps ; I think mother liked it." 
He had to play to his truly respected teacher, Dionys 
Weber, to artists and friends, one and all of whom were 
surprised and delighted with his progress. Every family 



24 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

which Lad known him as a boy, and set hopeful store on 
his future, gave him a hearty reception. Success followed 
success ; merry adventures and pleasant excursions are 
recorded, and Moscheles accepts an invitation of 
Count Wallis to pass the summer with him and his 
family at Karlsbad. This celebrated watering-place 
was just then the resort of princes and nobles, famous 
statesmen and artists. Besides King William III. of 
Prussia, there were Hardenberg and Gneiscnau, 
AVittgenstein, Rostopschin, and others. The Prussian, 
Austrian, and Russian nobility vied with each other in 
the magnificence of their entertainments, and a happy 
fusion of the various ranks proved that the great folk 
were glad to associate with the artists and make music 
with them. The Russian Baroness Lunin sang 
extremely well, and Prince Galitzin, who had devoted 
himself to composition, wrote for her romances which 
Moscheles revised and accompanied. Moscheles 
created quite a furore with his Alexander variations 
and fantasias ; such attentions were lavished on him 
that years afterwards he would eulogize the favours 
shown him in that artistic circle, and contrast them 
with the coolness and indifference of u now-a-days." 

w 

It was in Karlsbad that the young Robert Schu- 
mann heard Moscheles for the first time, and lasting 
were the impressions there produced. Many years 
later, when Moscheles dedicated to Schumann the 
Sonata (op. 121) for pianoforte and violoncello, he 
received from him the following letter : — " I am 



ROBERT SCHUMANN. 25 

honoured and delighted by the dedication of your 
Sonata, and I regard it as an encouragement to my 
own aspirations, in which you took a friendly interest 
from early days. When I, completely unknown to 
you, kept for more than twenty years at Karlsbad, as 
a relic, a concert programme which had been yours, 
how little I dreamt of being honoured in this way by 
so illustrious a master ! Accept my sincerest thanks 
for your kindness." 

An excursion was made from Karlsbad to Eger. 
Moscheles saw the house in which Wallenstein was 
murdered, the old fortress with its massive pillars, and 
lastly the Mordgässchen, " Murderer's Lane/'' where, 
in the days of darkness, all the Jews, except the family 
of Seligsberg, whose descendants still inhabited the same 
spot, were cruelly put to death. A visit to Franzens- 
brunn and Mariakulm, and another short stay at Karls- 
bad, concluded this successful tour. 

Meanwhile the Countess Hardegg and other influ- 
ential admirers had prepared his grand tour for him on 
his return to Vienna, by providing him with letters 
of recommendation to every Court he might visit, to 
every diplomatic or art-loving celebrity, as well as to 
the " haute finance." These letters were something 
more than ordinary introductions : the young man was 
warmly and earnestly recommended, his talents and 
general bearing placed in the most favourable light, 
and his successes described as accomplished facts. In 
those days letters of recommendation had their real 



26 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

value, and this partly explains the social as well as artistic 
success that almost invariably attended Moscheles. 
In the first instance confidence inspired by those who 
had recommended him, was followed by pleasure in his 
artistic performances. To this must be added the 
charm of modest, unassuming manners, which made 
the stranger a welcome guest, then a friend — not for 
months, or even years, but for life itself. Let us 
now follow him upon his wanderings, w r hich were 
the means of carrying his name far and wide, and 
investing it with a European celebrity. 



27 



CHAPTER III. 

1816—1821. 

IMPRESSIONS OF LEIPZIG — CONVERSATION WITH BEETHOVEN — SCHICHT — 
PROFESSOR SCHULZE — GEWANDHAUS CONCERTS— CLASSIG'S COFFEE- 
HOUSE — MOSCHELES' CONCERT — CONCERT AT ALTENRURG— DRES- 
DEN — SPONTINI'S "VESTALIN" AT THE OPERA — INTRODUCTION 
TO THE ARTISTIC WORLD — GOETHE AND MUSIC — ANECDOTE OF 
HAYDN — PERFORMANCE BEFORE THE COURT — INTRIGUES OF POL- 
LEDRO — MUNICH — EXCURSION TO HOLLAND — MUSICAL LIFE IN 
BRUSSELS — PARIS — SPOHR. 

IN the autumn of 1816 Moscheles bid a sorrowful 
adieu to the beautiful Imperial city, and went to 
Leipzig by way of Prague. He travelled in a 
so-called " Hauderer," a most tedious and cumber- 
some vehicle, and many ejaculations of impatience did 
it draw from him, which neither books, nor the dumb 
row of keys he carried with him, in order to keep 
his fingers exercised, at least technically, availed to 
moderate. At last he reaches Leipzig. He says : — 
" Anxious to see the place, I hastened to the prome- 
nades, the ancient market-place, and thence went to 
the theatre. The students, with their unseemly noise, 
their furious thumping on the ground with sticks when 
impatiently calling for the piece to proceed, astonished 
me, the orderly Austrian. I was destined to be fur- 
ther annoyed. The performance was a parody upon 



2S LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

Künstler^ ' Erden wallen/ in which the author, Julius 
Voss, in biting satire, speaks of all those who had 
come to the Leipzig fair with some show or other 
to make money. Was that a hit at me ? I quickly 
laughed away the notion, and thoroughly enjoyed my 
supper in the ' Joachimsthal/ " Some pages further on 
we find frequent notices of the crowds in the streets, 
the foreign costumes, the Polish Jews in the Brühl, 
and the overcrowded public places. He says after- 
wards : — " The first concert I heard in Leipzig was 
given by Mile. Sessi ; the overture was played very 
steadily. I must make special note of the contra- 
basso player Wach, because, with his force and energy, 
he seemed to keep the whole orchestra together." 
And again a few days afterwards we read : — " To-day 
I was with Schicht, the Cantor of the Thomas Schule. 
We had a long conversation about art and artists, 
and he gave me the full benefit of his opinions on 
Beethoven. Amongst other things he affirmed that 
' the Mount of Olives ' was not written in the oratorio 
style, and told the story that when Beethoven had 
sent the work to the publisher, the latter had thought 
it right to omit the chorus, ' Welchen Weg fliehen 
wir ?' (' Ah, whither shall we fly 7) Beethoven 
was very indignant, condemned such conduct as 
arbitrary, and wrote a very strong letter to the 
publishers. Schicht seemed to think this curious, 
whereupon I clearly set before him the proper point 
of view. 



GEWANDHAUS CONCERT. 29 

" At the house of Schulze, Professor of Music, I 
heard several choruses aud motets without accom- 
paniment, admirably executed by his pupils, and these 
performances were in the presence of Zelter, the severe 
critic, who happened to be at Leipzig at the time. I 
heard also in the Thomas Church eight part motets 
and fugues sung with much force and precision by 
pupils under the directorship of my friend Cantor 
Schicht." 

On the 6th of October the Gewandhaus concerts 
began. Moscheles attended of course. Some inte- 
rest may attach to a programme of those days ; we 
therefore copy it from the diary : — 

PAKT I. 

Symphony . . . Mozart. 

Aria .... Madame Sessi. 

Pianoforte Concerto, written and played by Zeuner, 

of St. Petersburg. 
Duet . . Madame Sessi and Herr Bergmann. 

PART II. 

Overture . . Andrew Romberg. 

Aria . . . Wild. 

Cavatina, with Guitar. 

Lied, " Vergissmeinnicht." 

Swiss Rondo . . . By Zenner. 

Finale . A chorus from Winter's " Power of Music. " 



30 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

Moscheles finds life in Leipzig extremely pleasant. 
At Classig's coffee-house he falls in " daily with the 
most delightful company/' hears " arrangements of the 
best symphonies, overtures, and operas, with an almost 
complete orchestra, that plays admirably." But the 
mediaeval custom of closing the city gates at dusk 
(Thorsperre), now abolished, and being admitted 
only on payment of some few groschcn, frequently 
troubles him when he is returning from visiting the 
Wiecks (the parents of the famous Clara Schumann). 

His own concert was to be given on the 8th of 
October. " I was in great excitement," he says. " My 
pressing business began as early as seven o'clock in 
the morning. In accordance with the local custom, 
I paid the cashier beforehand a bill receipted by the 
committee, charging sixty-six thalers, twelve neu- 
groschen for the room and lights. The rehearsal 
began at nine a.m. My overture to the ballet, ( Die 
Portraits/ was admirably performed at the first read- 
ing, but the orchestra wished to rehearse it again, 
and then it exceeded my expectations. I cannot 
sufficiently praise the horns and trombones, but 
beyond all the admirable violin of Matthäi, the 
leader. The small audience collected in the room was 
unanimous in applauding me, and the Alexander varia- 
tions allured many of the orchestral players away from 
their desks towards the piano, where they could watch 
the execution of the difficult passages. In spite of this 
success, my nervousness was so overpowering, in expec- 



CONCERT IN LEIPZIG. 31 

tation of the evening, that I could not swallow a 
morsel. In the afternoon I found my instrument in 
the concert- room, well tuned and in good order, when 
I felt its pulse ; my own was anything but quiet. At 
five o'clock the room was opened and lighted. Every- 
thing looked grand and impressive, and half-an-hour 
afterwards some ladies elegantly dressed arrived, so 
as to secure good places. It is not easy to imagine 
a handsomer room, or one better fitted for its pur- 
pose. I also found the seats arranged in a very prac- 
tical manner, and one which was quite new to me. At 
half-past six, after I had swallowed a cup of tea 
with a drop of rum in it, I gave the signal for the 
concert to begin, and was received with applause on 
my appearance — a distinction not given to every one in 
this place. My overture, owing to the hearty co-opera- 
tion of every one, surpassed my expectations. The public 
was so enthusiastic and unanimous in its applause, that 
I look back to this evening as one of the brightest and 
happiest of my life. A chorus by Schicht followed. 
My Polonaise, which was shown to the best advan- 
tage by the delicate accompaniment of three drums, 
all admirably tuned, will probably never be more effec- 
tively performed than here, or secure me more genuine 
applause. Between the parts the directors warmly 
congratulated me. 

In the second part we had Romberg's Capriccio for 
Violin, played by Matthäi; the Alexander Variations, 
repeated with the same enthusiastic applause ; a Hymn 



32 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

by Mozart ; then a pause of a few moments, after 
which I began my Improvisation. The public, feeling 
more and more interested, came nearer to me, and 
ended by regularly hemming me in, so that I became 
the centre of a great and admiring circle." 

Such a success, on such difficult ground, was as sur- 
prising as it was encouraging to Moscheles. 

It was the universal wish that a second concert should 
soon follow, and the 14th of October was the day fixed 
ou. " I had intended to-day," says the diary, " to 
introduce no extraneous subject into my Improvisa- 
tion, when coming to a pause, the melody, ( Das klinget 
so herrlich' (Zauberflöte) involuntarily forced itself 
upon me. Two rounds of applause rewarded my 
treatment of this subject/'' 

Next morning Moscheles gave a dejeuner to artists 
and amateurs ; there were plenty of oysters and 
good wines, supplemented by a musical entertain- 
ment. In the following days he strolled about 
amongst the booths at the fair, and attended some 
interesting theatrical performances ; he also examined 
the battle-field, the gardens, streets, and villages 
through which the torrent of war had rolled. Coun- 
cillor L., of Altenburg, arranged a concert for him at 
Altenburg, " in which the enthusiasm of the good 
Leipzig people was loyally repeated." Some new songs, 
as well as the Sestet, were published by Hofmeister. 

Delighted beyond measure with his artistic successes 
in the musical city of Leipzig, he prepared to go on 



DRESDEN. 33 

to Dresden. On his arrival there, after a tedious 
journey, and considerable bodily suffering, in conse- 
quence of an affection of the throat, he sought for 
some relief and forgetfulness of pain by listening 
to Spontini's " Vcstalin " given by an Italian com- 
pany. " The director is called Pollcdro, the singers 
Madame Sandrini, Benelli, &c. &c. Their genuine 
Italian method #nd extraordinary power of sponta- 
neous vocalization delighted me extremely, but I was 
so irritated with their constant ritardando at the finish 
of each melodious phrase, and the halts and draggings 
of the band, that I was obliged to brood over my 
bodily ills, and only got through the three acts by 
great effort. Myself and my pains I should completely 
have forgotten had I been present at a classical opera, 
classically performed. The orchestra, of which I had 
formed such great expectations, left much to be 
desired, notably the first horn-player. One passage 
in the andante of the overture could not be recog- 
nised/'' Moscheles about this time was confined to his 
room for a month, by order of his medical advisers, 
and beguiled this somewhat irksome time by arranging 
his four heroic marches for an orchestra, writing the 
Andante of the Sonata in E major, which he dedi- 
cated to Beethoven, and arranging some other pieces, 
besides reading several of Goethe's works, Men- 
delssohn's « Phädon/' &c. 

At last he was restored to health, and utilized the 
early days of his newly acquired freedom by intro- 

VOL. I. d 



34 LIFE OE MOSCHELES. 

during himself to the artist world of Dresden. In the 
choir of the Catholic church, during the performance 
of the mass, he made the acquaintance of Morlacchi, 
Polledro, Dotzauer, Benelli, and other artists. " I find 
the effect of the Mass grand n (we read in the diary) ; 
"twenty violins, six violas, four basses and violon- 
cellos, with but one only of each of the wind instru- 
ments, with the exception of the four bassoons, the 
leading solos sung by Sassaroli." Further on wc 
read : " I found in August Klengel an interesting 
acquaintance. He plays in the Clementi style, his 
toccatas, fugues, and gigues are as solid as they 
are artistic and thorough. Klengel and Zenner 
often come to visit me, and play to me alternately." 

At the next grand concert, he speaks of " the room 
as inferior in many respects to that at Leipzig, the 
programme itself meagre, and the performance rather 
consumptive." 

The diary of this period contains several notes 
on miscellaneous subjects. We give some few 
extracts. " Goethe writes in the ' Neuen Melusine ' 
(a periodical), ' I must confess that I have never 
been able to make much out of music/ A thing 
I naturally cannot understand," Moscheles added. 
Further on : " I must note a proof of Haydn's 
love of justice. Haydn heard that Beethoven had 
spoken in a tone of depreciation of his oratorio 
the { Creation/ l That is wrong of him/ said 
Haydn ; ' what has he written then ? His Septet ? 



HAYDN. 35 

Certainly that is beautiful, nay, splendid V he added, 
in tones of earnest admiration, completely forgetting 
the bitterness of the censure directed against himself." 
But to revert to Dresden. Here Moschclcs met with 
many obstacles in the way of professional success ; 
first his own illness, then the intrigues of Polledro, 
who wanted himself to give concerts, and finally 
the aggravating Court etiquette. " At last," says 
Moscheles, " I got my foot firmly in, or rather my 
hand, for I played, and with approval, first at the 
house of the Austrian Ambassador, Count Bombelles, 
then before Oberhofmeister Count Piatti, and Ober 
Stallmeister Count Vitzthum, ending finally on the 
20th of December by a successful performance before 
the Court itself. The Court actually dined (this 
barbarous custom still prevails), and the Royal house- 
hold listened in the galleries, whilst I and the Court 
band made music to them, and barbarous it really 
was, but in regard to truth, I must add that Royalty, 
and also the lacqueys, kept as quiet as possible, 
and the former actually so far condescended as to 
admit me to friendly conversation." His success 
secured for him what he had hitherto in vain striven 
to acquire, the permission to have the aid of the 
Royal band at his intended concert; this permission 
invariably refused to all others, was granted to 
Moscheles in recognition of his special merits. The 
musicians, too, began to like him better; Morlacchi 
and Schubert frustrated the intrigues of Polledro, 

d 2 



3ß LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

who wished to give him the weakest players in the 
orchestra, Count Piatti negotiated with the ungracious 
landlord of the Hotel de Pologue for the hire of the 
room, and the day of the concert was fixed for the 28th 
of December. " In accordance with local usage/' 
he says, " I gave tickets to each of the members of 
the orchestra. We rehearsed, and in the evening the 
concert came off before a brilliant public, profuse in 
manifestations of applause." Moscheles in comparing 
the performance of some pieces given at Leipzig 
aud Dresden, gives the palm to the Leipzig orchestra. 

The next place visited was Munich, where Mos- 
cheles, after taking part in some grand performances, 
gave two concerts on his own account. He had let- 
ters of introduction to Prince Eugene of Leuchtenberg 
and the Court; the old King Max was very kind and 
amiably disposed towards him, and after hearing him 
play before the royal circle, presented him with a 
diamond ring. A pin with the letter E, set in 
diamonds on an enamelled ground (a present from 
Prince von Leuchtenberg), is still kept as a precious 
souvenir. 

After playing at Augsburg before the ex- Queen 
Hortense, Moscheles made an excursion to Holland, 
giving four concerts at Amsterdam, and one at the 
Hague. There he saw for the first time the glorious sea, 
and he records the powerful impression made upon him. 
It was at Amsterdam that he began his concerto in G 
minor, which he finished on the 4th of August, 1817. 



G MINOR CONCERTO SPOI1R. 37 

He says, " Since I daily heard the chimes of the 
melancholy church bells, it was natural that I should 
choose a minor key, and mark the first movement as 
( malinconico/ M A first rehearsal of this concerto in 
'the " Liebhaber Gesellschaft" was a great success, but 
certainly neither the listeners nor the author -himself 
could have foreseen the long life in store for this 
favourite composition. 

He next visited the Rhine and Belgium, and 
writes, " Brussels is the preparation for Paris, both as 
regards language and customs." The musical life in 
that city was one of great activity, and Mosclieles' 
performances were eagerly welcomed. 
j. On the 29th of December he reached Paris, and 
put up at the Hotel de Bretagne. He writes thus : 
" The impression as I drove through the crowded 
streets, and watched the brilliant shops filled with 
purchasers, will never be effaced from my memory. 
Going out for a morning walk on the 30th, whom 
should I meet but my friend Spohr — a good omen ! 
Our joy on meeting was mutual, we were a long time 
together, and sauntered on the Boulevard des Italiens. 
Later in the day I accompanied him to the Palais 
Royal, and in the evening we heard ( Don Juan ' at 
the Italian Opera, given, to my surprise, in its integ- 
rity ; Fodor was a charming Zerlina, and all the others 
good. We had, however, great trouble in getting into 
the theatre. The crowd was so dense, that we were 
obliged to engage a man to take tickets for us.*" 



38 



CHAPTER TV. 
1821. 

BARON POIF£r£ DE CtRE — SFOHR — GALL THE PHRENOLOGIST — DTARY 
OF A DAY — CONCERT AT THE THÜTRE FAVART — SOIR&ES WITH 
LAFONT — CONCERTS SPIRITUELS — A CURIOUS BET — AN EVENING 
AT CICERl's — THE THEATRES OF PARIS — CHRISTENING OF THE 
DUKE OF BORDEAUX— MISTAKEN FOR A COURIER— LONDON — A 
LEARNED WAITER — MUSICAL CELEBRITIES — HER MAJESTY'S 
THEATRE — BR All AM — SOIREES AND CONCERTS — VISIT TO KALK- 
BRENNER — THE ERARDS — AUGUST LEO. 

DURING the first week of his stay in Paris, Mos- 
cheles thoroughly explored the city in every 
direction, and his delight in the novelty and sights is 
duly recorded in the diary. Besides this, special 
mention is made of Spohr, who frequently met Mos- 
cheles at the house of Baron Poifere de Cere. The 
baron gave morning parties every Sunday, where the 
aristocracy of artists, as well as the great world of 
Paris, were numerously represented. 

Spohr had entrusted Moscheles at one of his 
matinees with the pianoforte part of his quintet in E 
flat (with wind instruments), which was greatly ap- 
plauded by the audience. In addition to this, 
Moscheles was called on to improvise, and was par- 
ticularly happy to find Reicha and Kreutzer for the 
first time amongst his audience. Moscheles and 



SPOHR CHERUBINI. 39 

Spohr attended the quintet and quartet parties 
given by Reicha and Sina, and the two Germans 
delighted in finding our great masters, Haydn. Mozart, 
and Beethoven, admirably played and admired in the 
capital of France. The following passage from the 
diary proves how anxious Moscheles was to see those 
of his colleagues whom he himself revered, in the 
enjoyment of full recognition by a French as well as 
German public. 

" Why does Spohr fail to awaken general enthusiasm 
here ? Will the French, from a feeling of national 
pride, acknowledge none but their own violin school ? 
Or is Spohr too little communicative, too retiring for the 
Paris fashionable world ? Enough that to-day he has 
been obliged to give up his intended evening concert 
from want of public interest ; this really pains me. 
Yesterday, at a soiree at the Valentins, he played in 
his E flat quartet, which passed without the applause 
it well deserved — a man like Spohr I" Again we read : 
" At Baillot's, who had got up for Spohr and myself a 
genuine soiree of artists, he was greeted with real 
enthusiasm. I also played and improvised. He played, 
I played, and we each shared in a brotherly way the 
applause of this select audience." 

Applause in this instance means no ordinary recog- 
nition, for we read in the diary the following names — 
Cherubini, Auber, Herold, Adam, Lesueur, Pacini, 
Paer, Mazas, Habeneck, Plantade, Blangini, Lafont 
Pleyel, Ivan Müller, Strunz, Viotti, Ponchard, 



40 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

Pellegrini, the brothers Bohrer, the famous singers 
Nadermann, Garcia, and others. Nor were the leading 
journalists, such as Martinville, Mangin, Bertin, 
wanting on these occasions. There were also present 
Schlesinger, Boieldieu, Lemoine, the publishers, and 
Pape, Petzold, Erard, and Frcudcnthalcr, the piano- 
forte makers, whose rivalries were a constant source 
of trouble to Moscheles. At that time he preferred 
Papers instruments ; the Viennese pianos, with their 
lightness of touch, had rather spoilt him for the slow 
and heavy action of the Erards of that time. 

The leading families in Paris became more and more 
attracted towards Moscheles, partly to secure him as 
a teacher, partly from the hope of hearing him at their 
own musical parties, but here, as in Vienna, he steadily 
devoted his morning hours to pianoforte practice and 
composition. u This work done," he says, " I plunge 
cheerfully into the joys and delights of this great 
capital/'' He was loaded with invitations to dinners, 
balls, and all sorts of fetes. 

The houses most notable for music were those of the 
Princess Vaudemont, the Marquise de Montgerault (a 
good pianist herself, and the authoress of a very able 
work on pianoforte playing), the Princess Ouwaroff, 
Madame Bonnemaison, who sang prettily, and Monsieur 
Mesny, to whose daughter Moscheles dedicated his 
variations on the theme, " Au clair de la lune." 
Music and dinner parties were frequently given by the 
Prussian and other ambassadors, and the " haute 



GALL CHERUBINl's MASS. 41 

finance," represented by Lafitte, Rothschild, Fould, 
and others, vied with each other in hospitable and 
luxurious entertainments. There were brilliant 
assemblies also at the d'Hervillys', Matthias', and 
Valentins'. " There is less grandeur at the Valen- 
tins'/' says Moscheles, " but for that very reason 
I feel more at home with them." The first pub- 
lisher of Goethe in the French language, Monsieur 
Pankouke and his wife, received Moscheles with the 
greatest cordiality. " They were so delighted to see 
me that, when I joined their large party, I was greeted 
with clapping of hands." 

At that time he was brought into contact with 
Gall, the famous phrenologist. " He did not know me, 
but, at the suggestion of some friends, examined my 
skull, and found, in addition to my decided organiza- 
tion for music, the bump of mathematics, a passion for 
travelling, and a memory for persons and things !" 

We extract from the diary the description of a 
single day (28th January), which may, with its varied 
occupations, be taken as a correct type of many 
others during Moscheles' stay in Paris. " This 
morning, Herr Strunz brought lligel, the pianoforte 
player, to my house, to hear me play. At eleven a.m. 
I rehearsed at PaeVs with Baillot for this evening ; 
then I went, or rather ran, with him at full speed to 
the Court Chapel in the Tuileries, where we heard a 
glorious mass by Cherubini, admirably performed, 
as might be expected with the co-operation of such 



42 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

men as Kreutzer, Baillot, Habeneck. Plantade 
directed, and Cherubini, who talked to me, was 
amongst the audience. After this Spohr and I went 
to the rehearsal of Lafont's concert in the Theatre 
Favart, and on our return home, we had long and 
animated discussions on musical matters. Schles- 
inger and I dined at the famous but expensive 
Restaurant the Freres Provencaux (I am not always 
so luxurious). Then I drove with Paer, Levasseur, 
Rigaud-Pallard and his wife, to the evening party given 
bv the Duchess of Orleans. There was a large Court 
circle assembled. Besides the vocal pieces, I played 
with Baillot my Potpourri, and was obliged to improvise 
twice. I was received with favour and kindness." 

Moscheles, in giving public performances in Paris, 
had many difficulties to contend with, and there were 
constant negotiations with the Marquis Lauriston and 
M. de la Ferte, before he managed to fix on the 
25 th of February for his concert in the Theatre 
Favart. AVe have the following notice of the concert 
and matters incidental to it : " I was still busy in the 
forenoon in adding trombone parts to my concerto, 
distributing boxes and free tickets ; in the afternoon I 
went to the Theatre Favart to try my piano, one of 
Papers. Ever since the rehearsal it had been specially 
guarded by one of his men, to prevent any trick being 
played. The concert passed off successfully. The 
attendance and receipts were all in keeping with the 
artistic honours showered upon me ; but woe to the 



CONCERT AT VERSAILLES. 43 

artist if ever in public he violates the forms of 
etiquette and politeness. The singer Bordogni was 
hissed, because, from forgetfulness or intention, he 
did not offer to conduct Mademoiselle Cinti back to 
her seat after finishing their duet. - " 

Besides this concert, Moscheles gave another 
with Lafont, and four soirees with the same artist : 
the fourth and last was given on the 21st of May, for 
the benefit of a poor family. The two artists played 
on this, and on other occasions, a Potpourri on sub- 
jects by Gluck, Mozart, and Rossini. It was their 
joint composition, and, blending as it did the thoughts 
of three such different schools of art, proved highly 
interesting. Both artists were so much patronized 
by the fashionable world of Paris that Count Senzillon 
had arranged a concert for them at Versailles also. 
They arrived with their piano and violin, had a re- 
hearsal, walked about the castle and park, played to 
a very enthusiastic audience, and returned well 
satisfied. Moscheles remarks upon Lafont : " He was 
a sentimental artist, not only as a violin player, but 
also as a vocalist, and knew how to draw many a tear 
from the eyes of the fair ones by singing the Romanza 
1 La Larme.' His wife also sang romances. She was 
as pretty as she was voiceless, and this called for the 
following pointed remark in a newspaper : ' Madame 
Lafont a chante, eile a de beaux yeux/*' Moscheles 
often entertained parties of jovial artists at his 
lodgings ; music, punch, and supper were going on up 



44 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

to three in the morning. Whoever could play or 
sing was present, and good music alternated with 
amusing tricks played upon the respective instruments. 
"Altogether/' he writes, "it is a happy, merry time ! 
Certainly, at the last state dinner of the Rothschilds, 
in the presence of such notabilities as Canning or 
Narischkin, I was obliged to keep rather in the back- 
ground. The invitation to a large, brilliant, but cere- 
monious ball appears a very questionable way of 
showing me attention. The drive ' up, the endless 
queue of carriages, wearied me, and at last I got out 
and walked. There, too, I found little pleasure/' 
On the other hand, he praises the performance of 
Gluck's opera, at the house of the Erards. The 
' concerts spirituels ' delight him. " Who would 
not/' he says, "envy me this enjoyment? These 
concerts justly enjoy a world-wide celebrity. There 
I listen with the most solemn earnestness." On 
the other hand, there are cheerful episodes, and 
jovial dinners with Carl Blum and Schlesinger, at 
the Restaurant Lemelle. " Yesterday," he writes, 
" Schlesinger quizzed me about my slowness in eating, 
and went so far as to make the stupid bet with me, that 
he would demolish three dozen oysters whilst I ate 
one dozen, and he was quite right. On perceiving, 
however, that he was on the point of winning, I took 
to making faces, made him laugh so heartily, that he 
couldn't go on eating; thus I won my bet." We find 
the following notice on the 20th of March : " I spent 



PARIS CELEBRITIES. 45 

the evening at Ciccri's, son-in-law of Isabey, the 
famous painter, where I was introduced to one of the 
most interesting circles of artists. In the first room 
were assembled the most famous painters, engaged in 
drawing several things for their own amusement. In 
the midst of these was Cherubini, also drawing. I 
had the honour, like every one newly introduced, of 
having my portrait taken in caricature. Begasse took 
me in hand, and succeeded well. In an adjoining 
room were musicians and actors, amongst them 
Ponchard, Levasseur, Dugazon, Panseron, Mile, de 
Munck, and Mad. Livere, of the Theatre Francais. 
The most interesting of their performances, which 
I attended merely as a listener, was a vocal quartet 
by Cherubini, performed under his direction. Later 
in the evening, the whole party armed itself with larger 
or smaller ' Mirlitons ' (reed pipe whistles), and on 
these small monotonous instruments, sometimes made 
of sugar, they played, after the fashion of Russian 
horn music, the overture to Demophon, two frying- 
pans representing the drums." On the 27th of March 
this " Mirliton " concert was repeated at Ciceri's, and 
on this occasion Cherubini took an active part. 
Moscheles relates of that evening : " Horace Vernet 
entertained us with his ventriloquizing powers, M. 
Salmon with his imitation of a horn, and Dugazon 
actually with a Mirliton solo. Lafont and I repre- 
sented the classical music, which, after all, held 
its own." 



46 LIFE OE MOSCHELES. 

We find many an interesting notice of the theatres, 
nearly all of which Moscheles visited in succession. 
In Franconi's Cirque Olympique, in the Faubourg du 
Temple, he saw the harrowing story of Ugolino, 
a falling tower, and other startling effects, produced 
by machinery. At the Porte St. Martin, the bur- 
lesque of " Les Petites Danai'des" and Po tier's exquisite 
comic acting created a furore. People laughed in the 
" Varietes " at Scribe's pieces, written in his earliest 
best time, such as " L'Ours et le Pacha," " La 
Champenoise," " Les Voiturcs Versees," &c. At the 
Gymnase he was enchanted with the appearance and 
playing of the lovely actress Esther. Perlet's comedy 
made him " die of laughing ; and," says he, " words 
cannot be found " to describe Talma's " Mithridates." 
The " Jeune Fcmme Colere " of Mademoiselle Mars 
draws from him the observation ; " The acting of this 
great artiste must live for ever in the memory of any 
fortunate enough to have seen her." He was greatly 
interested by a pilgrimage to the graves of Rousseau 
and Voltaire, and enjoyed with the enthusiasm of 
youth and a keen susceptible nature the art-treasures 
of Paris, and the charm of its environs. These 
delights, however, are only briefly hinted at 
in the diary. A thorough musician, Moscheles 
records again and again his musical impressions. 
Thus, for example : " I drove early with Lafont to 
the Hotel de Ville, where Cherubini's new Cantata, 
and the Intermede by Boieldieu and Berton, written for 



CHRISTENING CF THE DUKE OF BORDEAUX. 47 

the christening of the Duke of Bordeaux, were re- 
hearsed. The first of these works was under the 
direction of the great master himself. His squeaky, 
sharp little voice was sometimes heard in the midst 
of his conducting, and interrupted my state of ecstasy, 
caused by his presence and composition. The whole 
of the magnificent and far-famed Court band was in 
attendance. The Prefect, Count Chabrol, and his 
wife, whom I met at this rehearsal, offered me, in the 
most friendly manner, a ticket for the grand ball to 
be given in honour of the christening. In the evening 
I attended the general rehearsal of an opera which 
Cherubim, Paer, Berton, Boieldicu, and Kreutzer had 
jointly composed in honour of this same christening. 
The final chorus by Cherubini made an indelible 
impression on my mind. Each master conducted his 
own pieces, and Cherubini was loudly cheered. 

" On the morning of 30th of April, present at 
another rehearsal of the Intermede, at the Hotel 
de Ville, under the direction of the composers, 
Boieldieu and Berton. Bigaud- Pallard and Boulanger, 
MM. Pouchard and Huet, sang. Immense crowds 
of people and a host of carriages are moving abou^ . 
To-day is evidently the beginning of the grand 
festivities. - " 

" May 1. — Christening of the little Duke of Bor- 
deaux. The whole of Paris turned out ; the streets 
were crowded. I could not stay much within doors. 
I saw the procession on its way to the Church of 



48 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

Notre Dame, then went to the Tuileries, where the 
Duchess, standing on the balcony, showed her infant 
to the enthusiastic crowd. In the evening I joined a 
party of friends to see the illuminations. Those in 
the Tuileries gardens made the scene one of fairy - 
land. 

" May 2. — The Intermede given in a brilliant 
manner in the Salle du St. Esprit in the Hotel de 
Ville. 

" May 9.— To-day I played in the Hotel de Ville, 
where the City of Paris gave a grand banquet to 
the Provincial Deputies ; Cherubini, Boieldieu, and 
Berton directed the music. The Intermede was 
repeated. Lafont also played. 

" May 13. — I went with friends to the Villette, 
to witness the inauguration of the Canal St. Denis. 
The Court party were rowed about in gaily decked 
gondolas or yachts ; the crowd was enthusiastic," 

A few days later he writes : " The festivities, and 
my stay at Paris, are drawing to a close, and I have 
every reason to feel grateful. As an artist I have 
had great success, and in a material point of view 7 I 
can announce to my mother that I have been doing 
extremely well. She shall enjoy my good fortune 
with me." 

We have already mentioned that, after the early 
death of Moscheles' father, the widow and her five 
young children were left completely unprovided for — 
it is delightful to record that the constant and 



MISTAKEN FOR A COURIER. 49 

beneficent care bestowed by Moscheles on his mother 
and sisters dates from this success in the French capital. 
His brother, too, whose weakly health never allowed 
him to enjoy complete independence, was an object of 
his tenderest solicitude, and so cheerfully did he render 
this assistance, that it was a source of happiness to both 
giver and receiver, it lightened the sense of obligation. 

His most intimate Parisian friends having vied 
with each other in showing him kindness and hos- 
pitality, Moscheles gave them in return a dinner 
at the Freres Provencaux, and finally left Paris on 
the 23rd of May. The coach, owing to unfavourable 
weather, did not reach Calais until the evening of the 
24th. The wind was contrary, no sailing vessel 
could leave the harbour until the 26th. " A day 
never to be forgotten by me V he says. " We spent 
fully fourteen hours on the stormy sea. I was tor- 
mented with all the sufferings of sea-sickness. At 
last, at midnight, when we were getting near Dover, 
and the steward asked me for my passage fare, I only 
had strength to point to my well-filled pocket. f For 
shame V exclaimed the fellow, ' a courier, and so sea- 
sick V And whence did I get this title of a courier ? 
At the Austrian Embassy they had stamped the large 
packet of my music with the Imperial seal, and in- 
scribed it c Despatches/ so that I might travel free of 
tax and delay, and the steward of course supposed I 
was the bearer of despatches, crossing and recrossing 
the Channel frequently. 

VOL. I. E 



50 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

" On arrival at Dover I soon recovered,, and the 
following morning started in the mail-coach, which in 
twelve hours brought me to London. Little did I 
think that there I was to find my second home." 

" Yesterday evening" (we quote from the diary of 
the 28th of May), " I arrived at the Golden Cross 
Hotel, in Charing Cross. Early this morning, when I 
told the waiter how I admired the ' Platz/ he ex- 
plained, with a scholar-like air, that the very spot 
on which we stood had been one of the halting-places 
at the time when the body of Queen Eleanor was 
carried to Westminster Abbey for interment, that 
crosses had then been erected at all the halting-places 
of the funeral procession, and that this present Charing 
Cross took its name from the then village of Charing, 
which in those days formed the site of the present 
'Platz' and its surroundings. All this was new to 
me with my hazy ideas of England's history and 
London geography. Little did I think that this 
strange London was to become my second home." 

Launched into the metropolis of the British 
Empire, Moscheles plunged, full of youthful fire and 
energy, into the musical and fashionable world, as he 
had done before at Paris. He wished above all things 
to hear music and be listened to, and just as many 
opportunities presented themselves in London as in 
Paris. Players on his own instrument, such as J. B. 
Cramer, F. Ries, Kalkbrenner, entered the lists with 
him, and men like Clementi were the judges. (Mos- 



JOHN CRAMER. 51 

clielcs at that time played by preference on dementi's 
pianos.) 

Moscheles writes of his colleague Cramer : " His 
interpretation of Mozart, and his own Mozart-like com- 
positions, are like breathings ' from the sweet south/ 
but nevertheless he shows no hostility to me and my 
bravura style ; on the contrary, in public and private 
he pays me the sincerest homage, which I requite with 
heartfelt admiration. Cramer is exceedingly intellec- 
tual and entertaining, he has a sharp satirical vein, and 
spares neither his own nor his neighbour's foibles. He 
prefers to converse in French, and shows by his manners 
that he has spent much of his early life in France. 

"He is one of the most inveterate snuff-takers. Good 
housekeepers maintain that after every visit of the 
great master, the floor must be cleansed of the snuff 
he has spilt, whilst I, as a pianoforte player, cannot 
forgive him for disfiguring his aristocratic, long, thin 
fingers, with their beautifully shaped nails, by the use 
of it, and often clogging the action of the keys. Those 
thin, well shaped fingers are best suited for legato 
playing ; they glide along imperceptibly from one key 
to the other, and whenever possible, avoid octave as 
well as staccato passages. Cramer sings on the piano 
in such a manner that he almost transforms a Mozart 
andante into a vocal piece, but I must resent the liberty 
he takes in introducing his own and frequently trivial 
embellishments." Further on we read : " His newiy 
composed Sonata in D minor gives me great delight, 

e 2 



52 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

and our friendly relationship is all the warmer from 
the sincere admiration I bestow on that work." 

" With Ferdinand Ries, too, I pass very happy 
musical hours, for I eagerly embrace the opportunity 
of becoming acquainted with a man whose admirable 
Concerto (in C sharp minor) I had performed in public 
at Vienna." Each performer wished to hear the 
earliest and latest compositions of the other, and they 
tested each others powers in pieces written for four 
hands. Kindred sympathies were fostered, and a 
lasting friendship promoted by their profound venera- 
tion for Beethoven, the master of Hies. At that time 
Hies had ceased to appear in public as a pianoforte 
player, and lived entirely as a professional teacher and 
composer ; his Lessons and writings were both sources of 
honour and income, so that as early as the year 182 I 
he retired to Godesberg in the neighbourhood of Bonn, 
and lived there with his amiable wife and family, a 
well-to-do and esteemed artist. There he continued 
to compose nmsic; his pianoforte pieces, and particu- 
larly his violin Sonatas, were greatly esteemed in 
Vienna, as well as other German musical cities. As 
to his orchestral works, they met with no greater 
success than those of Clementi. Overtures and sym- 
phonies by both of them were performed at the Phil- 
harmonic Concerts, but soon disappeared from the 
programmes in England, as well as in other countries. 
Moscheles spent the greatest part of his leisure hours 
with Kalkbrenner, Dizi the harp-player, and Latour. 



KALKBRENNER. 53 

" Dizi," he says, " has tlic most charming house at 
Crabtree, in the neighbourhood of London j a pretty 
drive by the side of the Thames brings me to the place, 
and as the heavy London atmosphere oppresses me and 
gives me bad headaches, which I never knew formerly, 
Dizi and his wife wish me to visit them frequently, 
and kindly place a bed at my disposal." 

Kalkbrenner and Latour being, like Moscheles, 
regular visitors at the house, music was the order 
of the day. Kalkbrcnncr was known in the musical 
w r orld as a brilliant pianoforte -player. Moscheles 
admired the power and elasticity of his fingers, enjoyed 
reading pieces for two performers with him, but con- 
demned his octave passages played with a loose wrist. 
" It is a bad method," he writes in the diary, " and 
not a sound one. He took me to hear the young 
people who study with Logier, but I could not share 
his admiration of this newly invented system, although 
I think Logier and his wife a clever and artistic couple. 
Would I have any one follow this system ? I hardly 
think so. The mind should work more intensely than 
the fingers, and how can there be a question of mind 
when two pupils play the same piece at the same 
time?" 

Dizi was an excellent artist on his own instrument ; 
Latour also was a painstaking pianoforte teacher and 
able composer of light pieces, which he published 
himself. At that time, as now, there was a .great 
influx and variety of artistic celebrities in London. 



54 LIFE OF 3IOSCHELES. 

There was Kiesewetter, the admirable violin-player, 
the superlatively great Mara and still greater 
Catalani, besides Dragonetti, who for many years 
together held successfully the foremost place as 
double-bass player. "Dragonetti was an original 
of the purest water. Moschcles says of him : 
" In his ' salon ' in Leicester Square, he has collected 
a large number of various kinds of dolls ; amongst 
them is a negress. When visitors are announced, he 
politely receives them, and says that this or that young 
lady will make room for them ; he also asks his inti- 
mate acquaintances whether his favourite dolls look 
better or worse since their last visit, and similar 
absurdities. He is a terrible snuff-taker, helping him- 
self out of a gigantic box, and he has an immense and 
varied collection of snuff-boxes* The most curious part 
of him is his language — a regular jargon, in which 
there is a mixture of his native Bergamesc, bad French, 
and still worse English." 

In the earliest days of his stay in London, 
Moscheles visited His Majesty's Theatre (Haymarket), 
and was not a little astonished that, in conformity 
with a troublesome custom, people had to appear in 
evening dress. " It was a fortunate thing for me/' 
he says, <c to have to listen to the c Turco in Italia/ 
with its light, shallow music, for I could give 
myself up to entire enjoyment in the excellent 
singing of a Camporese, an Ambrogetti, and feast my 
eyes, as I sat in the pit, on the brilliant company 



DRAGONETTI THEATRES— HYDE PARK. 55 

in the boxes. This galaxy of charming and beautiful 
women, with their elegant toilettes and jewels, and 
the house brilliantly illuminated, formed a splendid 
scene/'' The English operas at Drury Lane interested 
him very much, and he was delighted with Braham, 
whose wonderfully beautiful tenor voice had been most 
effectively trained by his friend Madame Camporese. 
He also found the other singers admirably taught, 
Miss Wilson, the prima donna, less attractive than the 
others, and the audience at Drury Lane less elegant 
and fashionable than the habitues of the Italian 
Opera. 

Descending in the theatrical scale, he visited the 
Surrey Theatre, where he saw a sensational melodrama, 
which gave him no kind of pleasure. On the other hand, 
he was greatly amused with a small French company 
performing in the Argyle Rooms. This troupe was 
supported by the nobility for its own entertainment, 
aid at its own expense. Astley's Theatre rivalled that 
of Franconi in its splendid performance of " Gil Bias."'' 
Moscheles says of Hyde Park in those days : u I admire 
the splendid horses and carriages, their fair occupants, 
reclining lazily on soft cushions, and the Amazons on 
their spirited horses. The Park itself is quite bare, 
without tree or shrub. I have hardly ever seen anything 
like it, and I couldn't help thinking of Byron's words : 

" Those vegetable puncheons called parks, 
With neither fruit nor flower to satisfy 
Even a bee's slight munchings." 



56 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

In later years lie was able to enjoy the Parks decked 
out with flowers, and so endlessly beautified and 
improved. In London, as in Paris, the diary refers, 
generally speaking, to matters essentially musical. 

" May 28th. — Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony was 
very fairly executed under Kiesewetter's direction at 
the Philharmonic Society's Concert, the drums 
too noisy. There was some fine singing by Mrs. 
Salmon and others, and all the concerted pieces went 
with remarkable precision/' 

" May 30th. — Heard the famous flute-player Tulon 
at his own concert in the Argyle Rooms. A medley 
of vocal pieces sung by Goodall, Vestris, Camporese, 
Salmon, Signor Ambrogetti, and others. Mademoiselle 
Buchwald, a very clever pupil of Kalkbrenner, played 
in his Septet." 

" June 1st. — Met Clementi by agreement at his 
pianoforte warehouse, and played some things to hin\, 
with which he declared himself extremely pleased. 
Afterwards called on Prince Esterhazy, Prince Leopold, 
Lords Lowther and Castlereagh. In the evening, at a 
concert given by Vaughan the singer, I heard Cramer 
again play with rare delicacy a concerto of Mozart's. 
The grand choruses and vocal selections from Handel's 
Oratorios, with the organ accompaniment, impressed 
me as being given with unusual precision and effect." 

" June 6th. — At the ancient concert (in the Hanover 
Square Rooms), Handel's l Messiah ' was given in all 
its grandeur and simple majesty. The organ accom- 



FIRST APPEARANCE AT THE PHILHARMONIC. 57 

paniments were supplemented in the full passages 
by wind instruments. The chief soloists were Mrs. 
Salmon,, Miss Stephens, and Mr. Vaughan. It seemed 
strange to me that, instead of boys, elderly men 
sang the contralto part with the head voice. The 
famous Hallelujah Chorus was given in very slow 
time. The obligato trumpet parts attracted my 
attention. " 

" June 9th. — In the evening went with Cramer to 
the dinner of the Royal Society of Musicians/' 

" June 11th. — Important day. My first appearance 
at the last Philharmonic Concert. I had great success 
in my E flat concerto, and the Alexander variations. 
This piece had been named in England the e Fall of 
Paris' (a circumstance which exposed me in after-years 
to some unpleasant remarks in the French papers)." 

11 July 4th. — At last my concert, which cost me such 
trouble to arrange, came off to- day in the Argyle Rooms. 
The Concerto and the . ' Clair de Lune Variations ' 
went well, and were very favourably received ; but 
what pleased most was my extempore playing on the 
air, ' My lodging is on the cold ground/ Cramer 
accompanied the vocal pieces on the piano. Mrs. 
Salmon, Camporese, the Ashes, Corri, Begrez, and 
Rraham were the singers. I was also assisted by the 
violinist Mori." 

" July 11th. — A grand evening musical party at the 
Rothschilds', at their country house on Stamford Hill, 
given to the foreign Ministers present in England on 



58 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

account of the approaching coronation of George IV. 
I was introduced to most of the Ministers, who, 
with the old Prince Esterhazy, expressed themselves 
greatly pleased with my playing. In the intervals 
vocal solos and quartets were given by English 
singers. Not at home till four o'clock in the 
morning." 

" July 19th. — To-day being the coronation-day, I 
went early to the vicinity of the Abbey. Saw the 
brilliant procession, and the banquet in Westminster 
Hall." 

Moschelcs, before leaving London, wrote his rondo 
for piano and horn, arranged the choruses from 
"Timotheus" for the piano, heard the new Cavatina of 
" di tanti palpiti," from Rossini's u Tancredi/* sung 
by Catalani, and in the evening was invited to her 
house. At last the farewell visits were paid, and 
when it came to Prince Esterhazy's turn, the Prince 
handed over to him a new passport, with the title of 
" Kammervirtuos." He took an unwilling leave of 
the London art-world, but was delighted to get away 
from the London atmosphere ; " the heavy air," he 
calls it in his diary, " which so often gives me head- 
aches, that I am glad to leave it." Then he made 
his way back to France, taking Boulogne on his road, 
and visiting Kalkbrenner, at the Chateau Pralin. 
There, until the following October, he led a cheerful, 
quiet country life, devoting much time to music. 
Madame Kalkbrenner, a highly intellectual woman, 



VISIT TO PARIS — ERARD. 59 

was a most amiable hostess, and he wrote for her, in 
gratitude for the hospitality he received, his rondo 
" La Tenerezza." In this rural retreat he composed 
three " Allegri di Bravura," which he dedicated to 
Cramer, and a brilliant Polonaise in E flat. Constant 
pianoforte playing, reading of musical scores, and 
French studies, filled up the rest of his time. 

He had only just returned to Paris when Lafont 
persuaded him to make a tour with him in Normandy, 
and give concerts jointly. These were brilliantly 
successful. In Paris, Moscheles was in constant 
requisition. Amongst the soirees at which he 
assisted, special mention is made of one at the 
Duchesse de Berry's, which Paer conducted, and 
where Garcia, Galli, Bordogni, and the lovely Fodor 
sang. Further on we read : " Young Erard took me 
to-day to his pianoforte factory, to try the new 
invention of his uncle Sebastian. This quicker 
action of the hammer seems to me so important 
that I prophesy a new era in the manufacture of 
pianofortes. I still complain of some heaviness in the 
touch, and therefore prefer to play upon Pape's and 
PetzokPs instruments ; I admired the Erards, but am 
not thoroughly satisfied, and urged him to make new 
improvements." The last evening of the year Moscheles 
spent with a small circle of friends at the house of 
August Leo.* 

* August Leo, a well-known German amateur at Paris, related to 
Mrs. Moscheles. 



60 



CHAPTER V. 
1822. 

MÄLZEL'S METRONOME — NEW WORK BY BEETHOVEN — MLLE. MOCK 
(MADAME PLEYEL) — CONCERT AT ROUEN — LONDON — CRAMER'S CON- 
CERT — A NEW WORK OF MOSCHELES — BROADWOOD's PIANOS — 
F. CRAMER — LONDON REHEARSALS — BOCHSA THE HARP-PLAYER — 
MONSTER PROGRAMME — FASHIONABLE SOIREES — CONCERT FOR 
THE POOR IRISH — EXCURSION TO BRIGHTON — AT HOME IN 
ENGLAND. 

IN the beginning of this year Mälzel came before 
the public with his Metronome, on the invention 
of which he had worked for years. Finding, however, 
endless difficulties in introducing it, he was obliged to 
provide himself with the bare necessaries of subsis- 
tence by the exhibition of his trumpeter automaton, 
and his dolls squeaking out " papa and mamma/' The 
appearance of a new work by Beethoven was always 
an event for Moscheles, and the beginning of this year 
was made memorable by the publication of the two 
new sonatas (op. 109 and 1 10) . Moscheles studied 
them with the greatest zeal, was quite absorbed in 
their beauties, and played them before his art 
brethren, and in particular to his friend August 
Leo, whom he credits with a genuine understanding 
of music, and a graceful turn for composition. 



bektiioven's choral fantasia. 61 

Around Leo was collected a circle of Germans whose 
musical centre was Moscheles, and who were unani- 
mous in their reverential homage of Beethoven. 

A second event was the appearance of Weber's 
« Freyschütz." This work, too, was welcomed by that 
circle with enthusiasm, its beauties enjoyed in the 
pianoforte arrangement, and the new era which seemed 
to have dawned on dramatic art in Germany was 
discussed often and thoroughly. 

Moschelcs himself wished to introduce as a novelty, 
at the grand concert which he intended giving with 
Lafont, Beethoven's Choral Fantasia, but this was no 
easy matter. A German musician, of the name of 
Lecerf, gladly promised the co-operation of a choral 
body under his direction. The music was rehearsed 
again and again ; but the ejaculations in the diary at 
the amount of labour required in the preparation of 
this particular work seem endless. The text trans- 
lated by Theolon was revised and altered by Moscheles 
himself, at the sacrifice of many a midnight hour. 
In spite of this, the audience which filled the salon of 
the opera-house to overflowing had not the faintest 
conception of the composer's meaning. Moscheles 
complains : " I know not whether the piece was too 
long for the Parisian public, or whether false intona- 
tion of the choruses injured the effect — enough, the 
performance was almost a failure. Everything that 
Lafont and I played as solos and duets was received 
enthusiastically, so also were Cinti and Nourrit the 



62 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

vocalists, and Ivan Müller with his clarinette. Receipts, 
8000 francs/' 

An unforeseen annoyance followed. An ignorant 
critic, contributing to the " Miroir/' fell foul of 
Moscheles, reproaching him with having himself added 
the choruses, and making thereby the Fantasia dull 
and wearisomely long. Moscheles was therefore 
obliged to justify himself publicly in the papers. 

On the Dimanche Gras and Shrove Tuesday avc 
find Moscheles in the whirl and tumult of the 
Carnival. The endless number of carriages, the 
picturesque confusion and drollery of the processions 
and masks, the mad crowd following the Bceuf Gras — 
all these things delighted and amused him. In spite 
of all these distractions he found time on the Shrove 
Tuesday to continue and finish the Adagio of his E 
flat concerto. 

Of his lady pupils at this period, the most in- 
teresting was Mademoiselle Mock (afterwards Madame 
Pleyel), whose great talent he took a true pleasure in 
cultivating. It was also flatteriug to him that the im- 
mortal Catalani, who this winter gave four crowded 
concerts at short intervals, entrusted him with the 
teaching of her niece. 

In March Moscheles spent a fortnight at Rouen, 
several influential families inviting him there. They 
w r ere active and zealous in showing him the interesting 
citv and its environs, as well as everything memorable 
connected with the history of Jeanne d'Arc. Pape 
himself brought the best of his pianofortes from Paris., 



CONCERT SPJRITÜKL. 



03 



and the tickets for the impending concerts were 
soon disposed of. He writes : " Without drudgery and 
running about nothing is ever done ; those con- 
founded theatrical directors take care of that. The 
local manager here is called Vau Ofen, and refuses 
his singers. Of course the influential friends inter- 
posed in my favour, and finally succeeded in bringing 
round the troublesome manager. The concert was 
a great success, and a second one asked for and 
granted/' 

In fulfilment of a former promise Moscheles re- 
turned to Paris, to conduct a performance of Mozart's 
Requiem at Leo's, who had admirably rehearsed the 
choruses. 

On Easter Sunday he played by request, at the 
" Concert Spirituel," his Potpourri with Lafont, but 
took as the theme of his improvisation a church 
choral, which seemed to him to be suited to the day. 

ZZ 




rex 



it ho - di - e al - le - lu - ja. 

"Again I succeeded on this occasion," we read in 
the diary, " in communicating to the public my own 
inspiration." 



64 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

The Paris season ended, Moscheles joyfully accepted 
the invitation of his friends to return to London. 
" There/' he says, " I found J. B. Cramer on the 
point of giving his yearly concert. He showed me 
two movements of a Sonata which he wished to play 
with me, and expressed a desire that I should compose 
a third movement as a finale ; only I was not to put 
any of my octave passages into his part, which he 
pretended he could not play. I can refuse him nothing. 
I shall therefore be obliged to strive and write something 
analogous for him, the disciple of Mozart and Handel. 
He played to me a part of his new pianoforte quintet, 
dedicated to me — a genuine Cramer composition. He 
urged me to play to him the three allegri di bravura, 
1 la force, la legerete, et le caprice/ which I dedicated 
to him/' 

The piece which Moscheles wrote in haste for this 
concert of Cramer's, as a finale to his friend's sonata, 
is the Allegro of the well known and constantly played 
" Hommage ä Handel/' which he afterwards converted 
into an independent piece, by composing an introduc- 
tion to it, and publishing it in this form for two pianos. 
This novelty, on the occasion of the first performance 
at Cramer's concert on the 9th of May, created a 
furore. To hear Moscheles, of whom the newspapers 
said " that his execution is most wonderful, and more 
wonderful because he always makes the right use of his 
genius," playing together with " glorious John," and in 
addition to that, in a composition on which both had 



BllOADWOOD F. CRAMER. G5 

worked, was " an unrivalled treat, an unprecedented 
attraction. " Each of them had chosen a Broad- 
wood instrument, Cramer as usual, Moscheles only 
on this occasion. "The strong metal plates/'' ob- 
serves Moscheles, " used by Broadwood in building 
his instruments, give a heaviness to the touch, but a 
fulness and vocal resonance to the tone, which arc 
well adapted to Cramer's legato, and those finger* 
softly gliding from key to key; I, however, use 
dementi's more supple mechanism for my repeating 
notes, skips, and full chords." Cramer's D minor 
concerto, and the new quintet led by his brother 
Francois, in which Lindlcy, the favourite violoncello 
player, besides Dragonetti and Moralt, took part, 
pleased exceedingly. F. Cramer was a good musician, 
a great admirer of his brother, but himself merely a 
clever practical artist, without any genius for compo- 
sition. He was well known as a teacher and leader at 
the Ancient and Philharmonic Concerts, as well as at 
the provincial musical festivals. Moscheles played his 
G minor concerto, which he had lately reconstructed, 
first at the Philharmonic, and afterwards at his own 
concert, with much applause. On the last occasion he 
was supported by the charming Cinti, Kiesewetter, and 
Dizi, the excellent harp-player. Everything went well 
and effectively together. u We have, however," he 
writes, " rehearsed here quite in a different manner 
from what people usually do, for, generally speaking, 
there is no rehearsal at all, often one-half of the band 

VOL. I. F 



66 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

runs once through the music. And what do the 
singers do ? They sing incessantly the few things 
which the orchestra know, and which the public is 
never weary of hearing." 

A few days later we read : " What are all concerts 
compared with that given by that charlatan Bochsa, 
the harp-player ? I have heard only one short sample 
of it, but copy out for myself the programme, although 
even this in itself is a gigantic work. Indeed, the 
incredible length of the concert deserves to be marked 
and catalogued as a curiosity. 

PART I. 

1. Overture to the oratorio, the " Redemption," 

by Handel. 

2. Air, sung by Bellamy. 

3. Air from " Joshua." Miss Goodall. 

4. Duet. " Israel in Egypt." 

5. Chorus. 

6. Air from u Judas Maccabseus." 

7. Air from " Semele." 

8. Air from " Theodora." 

9. Chorus from " Saul." 

10. March from " Judas Maccabaeus." 

11. Air from the " Redemption." 

12. Chorus from ec Israel in Egypt." 

13. Duet from " Figaro." 

14. Alexander Variations (played by myself). 



A MONSTER PROGRAMM E. 67 

PART II. 



Six pieces from " Bajazet/' a musical drama 
by Lord Berghersh. 



15. \ 

16. 

17. 

18. 

19. 

20. ; 

21. Violin concerto by Viotti, played by Mori. 

22. Recitative and chorus from the " Mose/'' 

Rossini. 

23. Quintet. 

24. Duet from " Figaro/' sung by Camporese and 

Cartoni. 

25. Air from " Jephthah.'" 

26. Duet from " Tancredi/' by Rossini, sung by 

Madame Vestris and Begrez. 

27. Recitative and air from the " Creation/' sung 

by Zochelli. 

28. Recitative and air from Handel's " Penseroso," 

sung by Miss Stephens. 

29. Final chorus from Beethoven's " Mount of 

Olives." 

Moscheles remarks : " This monster programme 
puts even Astley's Theatre in the shade, where in one 
evening the public is treated to a Scotch Hercules, 
several tight-rope dancers, two Laplanders, two dogs 
and a bear \" 

The grand soirees to which Moscheles was invited, to 

f 2 



68 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

play before persons of exalted rank,, were not at all after 
Ins taste. " How different/' he exclaims, u is music- 
making in these hot, overcrowded rooms, compared 
with our quiet reunions amongst musicians ! Heaven 
be thanked, I did not fare as badly as poor Lafont, 
who in the middle of a piece was tapped on the 

shoulder by the Duke of , with ' C'est assez, 

mou eher/ I am applauded when I tickle their 
ears." 

The bright side of the matter was the substantial 
profit and the consciousness of professional success. 
" There is something interesting, too, in being invited to 
the house of a Chateaubriand, and meeting frequently 
princes, statesmen, and men of science. I was par- 
ticularly pleased to make the acquaintance of Mrs. 
Siddons, and the distinguished actor Charles Young, 
in whom I recognise a highly cultivated and amiable 
man." The ball given for the poor Irish is mentioned 
as a very splendid fete. King George IV., who was 
present, had ordered the Grand Opera House to be 
magnificently decorated. The receipts were enormous, 
for 3000 tickets were disposed of; as much as fifteen 
guineas was given for a single ticket, the original 
cost being two. Towards the end of this season, 
we find Moscheles busv with a thorough revision of 
several of his works, especially the Alexander 
Variations. For the latter he wrote a new intro- 
duction, Boosey and Schulz preparing the new 
edition. Fresh editions, too, of the other works 



KIESEWETTER. 69 

were made. The Rondo " Charmes de Paris " was 
published, Mosclicles' pianoforte edition of Mc'inl's 
opera, "Valentine de Milan/' engraved, end list 
of all the publication started of the " Bonbonniere 
Musicale/' the first number of which Moschelcs 
dedicated to the young daughter of Horace Yernet, 
who drew a charming vignette for the title-page. 

Accompanied by his friends, J. B. Cramer, Sir 
George Smart, and Kicscwcttcr, Moschelcs made a 
short excursion to Brighton. Music there was 
represented by the Director of the Royal Band, 
Kramer (not to be confounded with the brothers 
Cramer already mentioned). This gentleman enter- 
tained his friends with orchestral performances of the 
best compositions of Handel, Mozart, and Beethoven, 
given by the band in a superior style. Moscheles 
employed the Brighton evenings usefully in writing 
some musical canons, which he sent to Vienna. He 
had half promised Kiesewetter to make a tour with him 
in Scotland in the autumn, but abandoned the idea. 
He had but little sympathy with Kiesewetter's eccen- 
tric views and mode of life, so ill adapted to his weak 
constitution. On the other hand, Moscheles gladly 
joined Lafont (whom he shortly afterwards met at 
Boulogne), in giving three brilliant concerts, and after- 
wards went to Paris, in order during the quiet time in 
autumn to devote all his leisure hours and strength 
to study and composition. In winter these labours 
were continued, and many concerts given. 



70 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

Towards the end of the year, when the London 
Academy of Music sent him his diploma as honorary 
member of the Society, he inserted the following note 
in his diary : " I feel more and more at home in 
England, for people there evidently wish to show me 
respect and friendship ; I feel deeply grateful for 
this." 



71 



CHAPTER VI. 
1823. 

VISIT TO BATH — LADY PUPILS — QUID PRO QUO — ORATORIO CONCERTS 
— UNFLAGGING INDUSTRY — MUSICAL ENGRAVING — CONDUCTORS 
AND LEADERS — ARTISTIC JEALOUSIES — ENGLISH AMATEURS — THE 
CHARITY CHILDREN AT ST. PAUL'S — MUSICAL PRODIGIES — 
F. HILLER, SCHAUROTH, MALIBRAN — SIR GEORGE SMART — VISIT 
TO GERMANY — AN ADVENTURE — NIGHTS IN THE BIRNBECK-KNEIPE 
— REHEARSALS OF WEBER's EURYANTHE AT VIENNA — VISIT TO 
BEETHOVEN — SALIERI IN THE HOSPITAL. 

MOSCHELES went to England in the middle of 
January, and as in the preceding year, he had 
moved about between Paris and Versailles, Rouen, 
and other French towns, so now he changed from 
London to Bath, Bristol, &c, for he was in request 
in the great metropolis as well as in the provinces. 
Young ladies wished in a few lessons to acquire 
some of the qualities which they admired in 
Moscheles' playing ; of course they could not learn 
to improvise in a few finishing lessons, for this pre- 
supposed vast musical erudition, besides his inborn 
talent of treating a musical subject brilliantly and 
elaborately. At all events they thought they might 
learn the art of his repeating notes, and the evenness 
of his running passages. 



72 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

Anxious to detain him in Bath as long as possible, 
his pupils and friends prepared soirees for him in the 
leading houses, in addition to the engagements under- 
taken by managers of concerts. In Bath, he praised 
specially the hospitality of the Barlow family. " I am 
treated as a son in their hospitable home ; my room is 
always ready, and besides this, Miss Barlow is perhaps 
the cleverest pupil I have got." Further on we find 
remarks on a concerto in E major, which he began in 
this house, and worked out with the greatest diligence. 

We also find some comical paragraphs ; amongst 
others he has chronicled a funny " quid pro quo " 
which occurred to him as a novice in the English 
language, at the table of the Barlows. "To-day I 
was asked at dessert which fruit of those on the table 
I would prefer. i Some sneers/ I replied, ingenuously. 
The company first of all were surprised, and then 
burst into laughter, when they guessed the process by 
which I had arrived at the expression. I who at that 
time had to construct my English laboriously out of 
dialogue books and dictionaries, had found that ' Kot 
to care a fig/ meant ' To sneer at a person/ so when 
I wanted to ask for figs, fig and sneer I thought 
were synonymous." 

Moscheles delights in the view of the Bristol 
Channel, and adds : " What can be finer than the 
first view of the Welsh mountains from Clifton ? an 
enchanting panorama ! The very place to write an 
adagio ; the blue mountain chain forms such a grand 



ORATORIO CONCERT. 73 

background to this bright Channel V* He further re- 
marks : "The public Assembly Rooms arc the places 
of rendezvous for the fashionable world, and the weak 
and ailing, who use the warm spring for bathing and 
drinking, find that comfort which we do not know of 
in German watering-places ; the idlers soon meet, and 
while away their time pleasantly together. I am 
assured, too, that speculative mammas, with their 
superabundance of daughters, prefer this place to all 
others." Afterwards we find Moscheles back again in 
London. He tells us : "I was at a so-called Oratorio 
Concert; one part consisted of sacred, another of secular 
music. The public may have found the former part 
rather longer than they liked, for the people stormed 
and stamped because certain pieces of the c Donna del 
Lago/ which had been promised in the programme, were 
left out." He was engaged for three of these concerts, 
and was satisfied with his success. " The public," he 
adds, " may on this occasion have been in good 
humour, for not only had the recently omitted numbers 
from the ' Donna del Lago' been dished up, but the entire 
opera was given." Again he writes: "To-day there 
was an Oratorio Concert where, amongst other things, 
besides a deal of secular music, we had the whole 
of Crotch's Oratorio, f Palestine/ How, I ask, must 
nerves be organized which can endure so much hetero- 
geneous music ?" When Moscheles afterwards heard 
the ' Donna del Lago' at the Italian Opera, he found 
that the music contained many beauties, but beyond 



r> 



4 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 



all question what lie admired most was " the charming 
Ronzi de Begnis and her exquisite singing." 

Moscheles' industry never flagged, in spite of a 
rather serious indisposition which he brought with 
him from Bath to London. He was one of those to 
whom continuous employment was a necessity and 
delight ; when at last the inevitable hours of exhaustion 
came, he was able to meet them by the most natural 
means, that of sleep, and afterwards resumed active 
work again with renewed powers. 

During this time his chief employment was the 
composition of the E major concerto ; in addition to 
this the Scotch fantasia, the altered concerto in F 
major, and the Sonata for four hands were prepared 
for publication. He says : " I wrote a Gigue as a 
contribution for the musical periodical ( The Harmo- 
nicon/ published by Mr, Welsh, owner of the Argyle 
Rooms. He asks me to send him anything I like, 
and pays five guineas for such a trifle. I have twenty 
guineas for ( Les Charmes de Paris/ and as much for 
the first number of the ( Bonbonniere Musicale ;' but 
in spite of this I have a quantity of manuscript un- 
published, the mere pecuniary advantages fail to 
satisfy me. I want to see real progress, and nothing 
positively objectionable in my new productions, other- 
wise I will not publish them." 

In leisure hours he made a new arrangement of the 
Egmont Overture, and used to call such a task his 
recreation ("Handarbeit"). 



AN ECCENTRIC PUPIL. 75 

Every one intimately acquainted with Moscheles 
knew the accuracy with which he managed the en- 
graving of his own productions. His engravers 
received the most precise instructions, even as to the 
turning over of the pages ; the head of every single 
note had to be exactly in its right place, every rest made 
perfectly clear and intelligible to the reader. " All 
this/' he was accustomed to say, " adds to precision in 
playing, and consequently also to the right under- 
standing of the piece ; if any one affects the great 
genius by writing so indistinctly that no engraver can 
read it, and if his music is published full of mistakes, 
that fact does not make him a Beethoven ; he may 
do anything, and then he has his special engraver, 
who understands how to read him. Let them all, 
however, first compose like Beethoven, and then they 
may write as they please." 

In revising for the press, Moscheles' correctness and 
conscientiousness were probably unique in their way, 
and these qualities were not less conspicuous in his 
lessons. No wonder he was ill at ease with his pupil 

Miss H , who had lived some sixty summers, and 

was, like her elder brother, unmarried. " Both are 
dressed strictly in the fashion of the days of their 
youth/' he writes, " which gives to this short-set 
couple a comical appearance. Her high head-dress, 
his nankeen trousers, blue dress-coat and brass buttons 
are enough to convulse one with laughter. As for the 
old lady, she does not intend to learn anything, for 



76 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

Low often during the forty-five or fifty minutes which 
I devote to her do I urge her on to play, and can 
scarcely get her to do it. The good lady is talkative, 
but at the same time hospitable ; I am obliged to 
lunch with her each time, and whilst I eat, she 
talks, until at last I compel her to hazard her gouty 
little fingers on a piece of modern music. AY hen, 
however, we have not worked actively together, my 
conscience does not allow me to pocket the guinea 
which she hands me every time, neatly wrapped up in 
paper." 

Moschcles was very much astonished at the English 
custom of placing a famous musician at orchestral 
concerts in front of the band, at the piano, and on the 
occasion of a Philharmonic Concert we find him asking 
the question, " What do they mean by the term 
' Conductor/ Mr. Clementi ? He sits there and turns 
over the leaves of the score, but after all he cannot, 
Avithout his marshal's staff, the baton, lead on his 
musical arm v. The leader does this, and the con- 
ductor remains a nullity. And now for the pro- 
gramme. The C minor symphony of Beethoven, for 
the first time here; and immediately after this sublime 
work, this food for the gods, a variation for the flute, a 
violin concerto, and several airs. Besides this Mozart's 
G minor symphony, and to conclude, an overture by 
Romberg — a programme which I write down now, 
that I may never forget it."" Altogether there were 
strange doings in the Philharmonic Society. Kiese- 



RIVAL PIANISTS. 77 

wetter wished no longer to play at their concerts, as 
he thought 5/. for a performance too little. Moscheles 
and Kalkbrenner were asked to play gratuitously. The 
former refused from press of business. Kalkbrcnner, 
who was glad when he could appear at a Philharmonic; 
Concert, accepted the invitation of the society, played 
his D minor concerto in a very finished style, and re- 
ceived well-merited applause. " I cannot recognise 
their claims to my gratuitous services, whilst my art 
brethren, on the contrary, find me always ready to 
support them/'' In turning over the pages of 
his diary, so as to verify this saying, we find that 
Moscheles played during this season not only for 
his friend J. B. Cramer, and for the harp-player 
Dizi, but also for the singers Torri and Sapio, 
Caradori and Borgondio, and other less well known 

artists. 

Altogether the artists seem to have fraternized very 

satisfactorily, in spite of petty jealousies and pro- 
fessional rivalry. However, some painful scenes did 
occur ; thus, at a soiree given by Miss B., a pupil of 
Moscheles, he says : " It was an awkward business ! 
After we had all been repeatedly heard, Kiesewetter 
and I played Maysedcr's long sonata. Cramer's ex- 
clamation, ' Ce!a m'ennuic/ worked like a thunderclap 
on the easily excited Kiesewetter; he sprang indignantly 
from his chair, and we subsequently had a deal of 
trouble and worry to reconcile the two." 

There were large numbers of English amateurs who 



7S LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

counted it a special honour to associate with artists, 
and to play by their side at their private soirees. Thus, 
Sir "W. Curtis on the violoncello, Mrs. Oom and Mrs. 
Fleming on the piano. Prince Leopold, and Princess 
Sophia, sister to King George IV., were always atten- 
tive listeners to the performers. Still Moscheles 
complains, " I am obliged to perform and endure too 
much trivial music." 

He describes the annual festivity of the meeting of 
the 6000 charity children for divine service at St, 
Paul's Cathedral as remarkable and edifying. " The 
moment when the whole host of them stand up toge- 
ther is an imposing one. But," he adds, " how could 
they all, with the powerful organ accompaniment to 
the Psalms, and whilst singing in unison, contrive to 
fall the fourth of a tone, and that also in unison \" 

Moscheles had abundant opportunities of forming a 
judgment of youthful talent, for fathers and mothers 
brought him their budding musical prodigies, the most 
of whom have vanished and are long forgotten. Still 
he often thought in later years, with great delight, of 
the moment when the boy Ferdinand Hiller first 
played to him, and he prophesied to the father the 
brilliant musical future of his son ; this was for a long 
time a delightful recollection to both. Delphine 
Schauroth too, when only ten years of age, astonished 
him, even in those days, by her brilliant execution and 
musical aptitude. But more than all other wonders 
in the way of musical children, he was charmed with 



F. HILLER SCHAUROTH MALIBRAN. 71) 

the youthful, almost childish actress, Maria Garcia, 
afterwards Malibran, whom he saw on an amateur stage 
in the house of a M. Hullmandel. He writes : " The 
charming gir], almost a child, acted enchantingly in 
the ' Chauvin de Rheims/ ' Le Coin de Rue/ and 
' L/Ours et le Pacha/ " At the same time he was 
delighted with the dramatic singing of her father, who 
was one of the greatest tenors of his day. 

Moscheles, during his stay in Vienna, had laid the 
foundation of an accurate knowledge of the Italian 
language, for which he always had a predilection. In 
London he had perfected himself still more, and never 
failed to attend the Pistrucci evenings, where he lis- 
tened with great delight to the " Improvisatore," as 
he enlarged, in well- sounding harmonious verses, on 
a chance theme suggested by the public. " It gives 
me food for thought in my own improvisations," he 
adds. " I must constantly make comparisons between 
the sister arts : they are all closely allied." 

The London of 1823 had nothing in the shape of 
conveyances but two-horse hack carriages, and these 
were as costly as they were clumsy. Moscheles' delight, 
when for the first time he could use a one-horse cab, 
of lighter build, is recorded in the diary : " The happy 
change occurred exactly in one of my busiest weeks. 
Whilst preparing for a concert on the 27th of June, I 
was forced to cross and recross London. My dear 
friend, Sir George Smart, has relieved me of a part of 
these preparations; he is always ready to accompany, 



80 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

to give rehearsals to singers and soloists ; in a word, to 
spare his friend all sorts of trouble. That excellent man 
conducts nearly all the important musical festivals in 
London as well as the provinces, with the greatest care 
and precision. He is one of those rare beings who, in 
spite of all sorts of business, find time to answer their 
letters every day they receive them. He is always 
ready, too, to serve his friends, and many a foreign 
singer is indebted to him for a correct pronunciation 
in the oratorios of Haydn and Handel, and for such 
suggestions as enable her to carry out successfully the 
old traditions." 

Moscheles' stay in England, so prosperous in every 
way, finished with the end of the London season. In 
August we find him already on his journey home, 
starting first of all for France. The first day in Paris 
is more pleasant than the second. " I have left at 
Schlesingers a box full of valuables, which have been 
stolen, every one of them — namely, the snuff-box given 
me by the Duchesse de Berry, a silver coffee- service, 
-twelve spoons, an antique ring, a Venetian chain, and 
other articles of value given to me as souvenirs. We 
suspect a young friend of Schlesinger, who saw me 
pack the things, and often remained alone in the room 
where the box stood. We are obliged to act with 
great delicacy in this matter." The suspicion was 
confirmed, but the penitent letter which Moscheles 
received from the young man induced him patiently 
to wait in hopes of a restitution of his lost property. 



CONCERT AT SPA. 81 

Later on we shall meet with a further development of 
this disagreeable affair. 

He stayed but ten days in Paris, previous to going 
to Spa, where a concert was arranged without any 
trouble to himself. The pianoforte question, however, 
was a difficult matter. Moschcles did not succeed in 
obtaining the very excellent piano belonging to Lady 
Portland, whose acquaintance he had made at a ball. 
" She disappoints me extremely," he writes, " declaring 
that I should damage her instrument. I, who am so 
averse to all thumping. She actually told a friend of 
hers present at the ball that I played with my feet \" 
Some confusion may have arisen in the lady's mind 
from her having heard of one of Moschcles' favourite 
jokes — he would play with his fists, improvise pieces, 
introducing passages for thirds in which he would con- 
trive to strike the under note with the closed thumb, 
retaining all the while the softness of his touch. Lady 
Portland's piano not forthcoming, a Mrs. Bayham lent 
him a Broadwood, which, although it had seen its best 
days, did not prejudice his success. 

We next find him at Aix-la-Chapelle. Here J. A. 
Mayer, the publisher, formerly a mere acquaintance of 
his, was of great assistance. This gentleman, as well 
as the entire family, became his life-long friends, and 
thus the lightly knit tie of a passing acquaintance 
became a lasting link in the chain of Moscheles' 
friendship. 

Moscheles had a peculiar and very marked propen- 

VOL. I. G 






82 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

sity, which he retained to his latest years, for attending 
courts of law, and watching the progress of trials. 
Thus we find him, even at Aix, in the midst of a 
cheerful artistic life, rushing off to the court, and 
diligently listening to the criminal proceedings in the 
case of the murderers Joseph Pakhard and Josephine 
Herzoginrath. " His indifference shocked me," he 
writes. " Her sobs were heartrending." We often 
come across similar notes on public trials. 

At the beginning of September Moscheles returned 
to Germany. At first we find him in Frankfort, from 
whence he hurries off to Hofrath Andre, in Offenbach, 
in order to revel in Mozart manuscripts. He says, 
" I immediately took a note for myself of the two bars, 
which Mozart struck out of his overture to the ' Zauber- 
flöte ' as superfluous. 




^^^ff^ ^ p^f^f^ 




^ 



1 



:|^*^££ 



What could I, who worship every note of Mozart's, 
who consider him the greatest musical genius, say, 
when Hofrath Andre maintained that Mozart did not 
thoroughly understand declamation, since words which 



mozart's manuscript of zauberflöte. 83 

bear the contrary sense to that of his opera texts, 
might just as well be placed under his music, and be as 
suitable as the original words. This accusation seemed 
to me not worthy of defence. I remained silent. I 
was intensely interested in a sight of the half-finished 
scene of the opera c I/Oca del Cairo/ The last num- 
bers of this buried treasure are unfortunately only 
noted for the voice and bass ! Who would like to 
end where Mozart has begun ? I saw, too, an out- 
burst of his waggish humour in a Concerto which he 
had written for the horn-player Leitgeb, with the 
following inscription, f W. A. Mozart has taken pity 
on the poor Leitgeb, the ass, the ox, &c., and written 
for him a horn- concerto/ " 

At that time Moscheles heard a new arrangement 
of the libretto to the opera, " Cosi fan tutte/' which 
was given with Mozart's music unaltered, under the 
name of the " Fairy Mirror." This music delighted him. 
He heard Mozart's Requiem given by the Cacilien- 
Yerein, in the Cathedral, under Schelble's able direction. 
Here, too, he revelled in the choicest fragments of 
Handelian music. It gave Moscheles great delight to 
meet the esteemed contrapuntist, Vollweiler, as well 
as Aloys Schmitt, and to become acquainted with 
Wilhelm Speier, so well known for his Eheinlied. 
" That stamp of amateur I like/' he said, " as well as 
an artist." 

Deeply engrossed in all kinds of professional pur- 
suits, Moscheles was still mindful of the welfare of his 

g 2 



84 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

brother artists. Böhm and Pixis were making a tour, 
and had just arrived in Frankfort. " Friend Mayer," 
said Moscheles, " shall get up a good concert for them 
in Aix." So he wrote to him, and urgently recom- 
mended them. 

After his concert in Frankfort was over, Spon- 
tini's " Olympia " was just announced in Darmstadt ; 
Moscheles, Pixis, and Böhm drove over to hear it, and 
they met with a strange adventure. " The wheel of our 
carriage was three times lost, and as there was nothing 
else to drive but a common cart, and we would not 
miss the opera at any price, we mounted this elegant 
vehicle, and made our solemn entry into Darmstadt 
at the same time with many princely and other 
carriages, with the inmates of which we were well 
acquainted. At this first hearing of ' Olympia' I found 
much that was grand and indicative of genius, without 
concealing from myself the weakness of many passages. 
Zelter, who delighted in opposing every modern 
' eccentricity/ as he called most of the innovations, 
declared that he could hear plenty of such noisy music 
outside the opera-house without going into it." 

In Munich Moscheles was kindly received by the 
Kaula family, and delighted in meeting his brother 
artists in the " Birnbeck Kneipe," for beer and 
musical discussion. There was Winter, the composer 
of " Das Unterbrochene Opferfest/' Molique, Andreas 
Romberg, Bohrer, Krebs, and others. 

In consequence of the arrival of the Prince of 



MOSCHELEs' ILLNESS. S5 

Prussia, who was recently betrothed to a Bavarian 
princess, Mosclielcs was summoned to Nymphenburg 
to play before the royal party, and thoroughly enjoyed 
the kind reception given him by the " good King 
Max." He asked him, " How old are you?" 
(i Thirty, your Majesty." " Double that number, and 
add seven to it, and you will have my age," said the king 
quickly. The Crown-Prince of Prussia, who joined 
in the conversation, invited Moscheles to Berlin, and 
the king made him promise to play again before the 
Court on the 4th of October. He did play on that 
evening, and had the satisfaction of seeing the royal 
party at his own concert on the 10th. 

The vintage fetes, which were celebrated in the 
presence of the Court, were a delightful recreation to 
Moscheles. There is, however, a complaining tone 
observable in some of his descriptions of the scenes he 
witnessed; he felt ill and unable to thoroughly enjoy 
that which was so delightful to thousands on the 
meadows and hills around. After attending a per- 
formance of his music to the ballet " Die Portraits," 
which the ballet-master Horschclt ordered to be given 
in his honour, he then became worse, and hurried 
back to dear old Vienna, in search of proper medical 
treatment. Vivanot, Malfatti, and Smethana did every- 
thing that friendship and their art could do. His 
brother came from Prague to nurse him, but in spite 
of their combined care, three gloomy weeks passed 
before he was out of danger. Then followed a period 



86 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

of prostration, which cramped his vital energy and 
spirits almost more than the illness itself. For a long 
time he was much depressed ; he found some consola- 
tion in his Shakspeare, but seldom touched the piano ; 
even the visits of sympathizing friends failed to rouse 
him from his apathy. The offer made him by 
Barbaja, the lessee of the Kärntnerthor Theatre, to 
give as many concerts as he liked and share half the 
profits, remained unheeded. At this period, C. M. 
von Weber came to Vienna, for the purpose of bringing 
out his " Euryanthe ; w already after the rehearsals the 
most dissentient voices of the German and Italian fac- 
tions were heard, warning notes were given of a serious 
battle at the first performance — nay, some ill-disposed 
persons had presumed to rcchristcn " Euryanthe " 
by the name of " Ennuyante." Moseheles would not 
on any account miss the first performance, in order to 
raise his voice for the German master, and against 
" the shallow Italian jingle," as he called it. Thus 
his melancholy was overcome. " The opera is not 
suited for uninitiated ears, - " said he, after he had 
heard it : " it is too bold in rhythm and harmony ; 
the text so terribly far-fetched that the music must, 
to some extent, be of the same kind ; it has, however, 
very many beauties, and the airs ' Glöcklein im Thale ' 
and f Unter Blühenden Mandelbaiimen/ but before all, 
the finale of the first act, must insure the success of 
the opera, even with the pit and galleries." The cast 
was faultless. The charming, youthful Sontag, the ex- 



PERFORMANCE OF EURYANTHE. 87 

cellcnt tenor singer Haitzinger, the admirable Madame 
Grünbaum, and the equally good Forti, represented 
the leading characters. At the subsequent representa- 
tions, when the house would no longer fill, the Italian 
faction began to triumph. Moscheles writes : "Ludlam 
(the healthy art-fraternity whose acquaintance we have 
already made) succeeded in infusing the orthodox 
German spirit into the press." Besides this, the society 
was anxious to honour Weber, and gave him a festive 
evening after the first representation of " Euryanthe." 
Amongst those present were Castelli, Jeitteles, 
Gyrowetz, Bäuerle, Benedict, Grill parzer, and many 
others. Poems, written for the occasion, extolling 
Weber's genius, were recited, and the most jovial 
Ludlamslieder sung. 

The success of the first concert which Moscheles 
gave after his return to Vienna raised his spirits once 
more to the old level, although he was not free from 
bodily suffering. Having to return some visits, he 
began with Beethoven, accompanied by his brother, 
who was burning with anxiety to see the great man. 
<( Arrived at the house-door," says Moscheles, "■ I had 
some misgivings, knowing Beethoven's dislike to 
strangers, and asked my brother to wait below whilst 
I felt my way. After short greetings, I asked 
Beethoven, f May I be allowed to introduce my 
brother to you ? ' He replied, hurriedly, ( Where is 
he then V ' Below/ was the answer. /What ! below?' 
said he, with some vehemence ; then rushed down- 



88 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

stairs, seized my astonished brother by bis arm, and 
dragged bim np into the middle of bis room, ex- 
claiming, f Am I so barbarously rude and unapproach- 
able ?' He then showed great kindness to the 
stranger. Unfortunately, on account of his deafness, 
we could only converse by writing." 

Moscheles wished also to visit poor Salieri, who, 
weak, old, and nigh to death, was lying in the common 
hospital. For this purpose he obtained the necessary 
permission of his unmarried daughter and the regular 
authorities, as hardly any one could be admitted to 
see him ; he was not fond of visits, and made only a 
few special exceptions. " Our meeting/" writes Mos- 
cheles, a was a sorrowful one ; for already his appear- 
ance shocked me, and he spoke to me in broken 
sentences of his nearly impending death. At last he 
said, f I can assure you as a man of honour that there 
is no truth in the absurd report ; of course you know — 
Mozart — I am said to have poisoned him : but no — 
malice, aieer malice ; tell the world, dear Moscheles, 
old Salieri, who is on his death-bed, has told this to 
you/ I was deeply moved, and when the old man 
in tears repeated his thanks for my visit (having al- 
ready overwhelmed me with gratitude on my arrival), 
it was time for me to rush out of the room before I 
was entirely overcome with emotion. "Y\ ith regard to 
the report jointed at by the dying man, it certainly 
had been circulated, without my ever giving it the 
slightest belief. Morally speaking, he had no doubt 



SALIERI. 89 

by his intrigues poisoned many an hour of Mozart's 
existence." 

After Moschcles had made a round of visits to the 
artists, he went off to the pianoforte-makers, whose 
progress he always diligently watched, and found that 
Graf and Leschin had considerably improved the 
quality of their instruments. 

In November and December, Moscheles gave a 
second and third concert in the Kärntnerthor Theatre, 
and for the last occasion Beethoven lent him with the 
greatest readiness his Broadwood piano. Moscheles 
wished, by using alternately at one and the same con- 
cert a Graf and an English piano, to bring out the 
good qualities of both. Beethoven was npt exactly 
the player to treat a piano carefully ; his unfortunate 
deafness was the cause of his pitiless thumping on 
the instrument, so that Graf — foreseeing the favour- 
i able issue of this contest to himself — generously 
laboured to put the damaged English instrument into 
better condition for this occasion. " I tried/'' says 



Moschcles, " in my Fantasia to show the value of the 
broad, full, although somewhat muffled tone of the 
Broadwood piano ; but in vain. My Vienna public 
remained loyal to their countryman — the clear, ring- 
ing tones of the Graf were more pleasing to their 
ears. Before I left the room I was obliged to yield 
to the urgent request of several of my hearers, in 
promising to repeat the whole concert the day after 
to-morrow." This promise was fulfilled. 




90 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

He persistently refused the pressing invitations he 
received to give a concert in the Theatre an der 
Wien ; he was still suffering pain, and wanted to get 
away from Vienna. However, he took part in a 
concert for the benefit of the poor, and supported his 
friend Mayseder on the evening of his benefit, when 
he played the E flat concerto. 

In gratitude for the merry evenings which he had 
spent among the Ludlamites, Moscheles composed for 
them, in the midst of his preparations for departure, 
a jovial chorus ; the society upon this elevated him to 
the rank of Ludlam's " Kapellmeister." At the same 
time the smaller but very vigorous " Schlaraflen- 
Verein" (Idler's Club) conferred on him honorary 
membership. " Thus," he says, " the close of the 
year found me in high spirits, but invested with 
the night-cap, and all the other insignia of idleness. 
Better thus to end the year than to begin the new 
one." 



91 



CHAPTER VII. 
1824. 

PRAGUE — INAUGURATION OF THE REDOUTENSAAL — RECEPTION BY 
THE EMPEROR — SERIES OF CONCERTS — RESPECT FOR HIS OLD 
MASTER — DRESDEN — ARTISTIC SOCIETY — TIECK — C. M. VON WEBER 
— PERFORMANCE BEFORE THE COURT — LEIPZIG — DISTINGUISHED 
CRITICS AND ARTISTS — BERLIN — RELATIONS TO THE MENDELSSOHN 
FAMILY— FRAU VARNHAGEN VON ENSE (RAIIEL) — FELIX MENDELS- 
SOHN — ZELTER— POTSDAM — MAGDEBURG. 

ON the 1st of January, Moscheles writes in his 
diary : " I could not express to my dear friends 
and patrons, at my parting visits, my sense of obligation 
to them for all their kindness ; but I am very sensible 
of all that they have done for me. Ludlam, with its 
jokes, was hardly in tune with my present state of 
feeling, but Tlvas* of course obliged to appear at the 
parting banquet which they gave me." No sooner 
had he arrived at Prague than he became dangerously 
ill, and was laid up for four months in his mother's 
house. He was therefore obliged to forfeit his en- 
gagements in England for the winter and spring. The 
newspapers actually announced his death, but severe 
as the crisis was through which he passed, he was 
mercifully spared to his family and friends. On this 
occasion, too, it is music which completes his cure. 



92 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

From January to April he had diverted himself solely 
with reading (chiefly the works of Goethe), and very 
seldom touched the piano. In the month of May he 
was asked whether he would inaugurate with his con- 
cert the Redoutensaal, in the presence of their Majes- 
ties, who had just arrived at Prague. " So I am 
about/' he says ; " to celebrate my recovery, not only 
with heartfelt gratitude to God and my friends, 
but also by a brilliant concert." The Oberstburggraf, 
the Stadthauptmann, and the members of the musical 
committee arranged everything ; a new royal box was 
erected, the house was brilliantly illuminated, chorus 
and band strengthened. 

On the 29th of May, Moscheles writes in his diary : 
" My mother's joy at my success yesterday compen- 
sates for all the sadness of the winter/' On the 2nd 
of June he was received at a private audience by the 
Emperor, and greeted with these words : " You pleased 
me when you were merely a boy, and since that time 
it always gives me new pleasure to hear you." In 
addition to his kind patronage, an unusually handsome 
present from the Emperor had greatly contributed to the 
pecuniary success of the concert, which was followed 
by another at the " Ständischen Theater," and after- 
wards he had the pleasure of being present at the 
signing of his sister Fanny's marriage contract, and was 
able to provide handsomely for her. 

On the I lth of June his brother travelled with him 
to Carlsbad, where he was to take the waters, but 



PRAGUE DIONYS WEBER. 93 

the public insist on hearing him j he was obliged to 
give a concert, and at the special wish of the Duke 
of Cumberland, repeated it a few evenings later. 
Similar successes were awaiting him at Marienbad, 
Franzensbad, and Teplitz, and at all these places he 
gave concerts for the poor, and assisted his artistic 
friends in their own undertakings. Of course, in each 
of the watering-places there was a concourse of artists, 
and Moschelcs was specially delighted at his meeting 
with Carl Maria von Weber. He rejoices that in 
going to Dresden he can spare a fortnight for Prague, 
where he again plays to his old master, Dionys 
Weber, and listens with affectionate reverence to his 
remarks on his own compositions. He always main- 
tained before him the character of a pupil, however 
much Dionys Weber wished to honour the master in 
him. " One thing strikes me as remarkable," he 
says, "how the good man, who first of all regarded 
Beethoven as half-mad and ^aViied'me against him, 
is obliged by degrees to change his mind ; but he 
does this cautiously, for there are still many things 
which he will not approve of, and I am forced to 
moderate my enthusiasm considerably in order not 
to annoy him." These words show a sense of reve- 
rence and honour that needs no comment. 

We now follow Moscheles to Dresden, where he found 
Carl Maria von Weber and Morlacchi, acting as Hof- 
kapellmcisters, Eolla first violin in the admirable Court 
band, Herr v. Lüttichau " Intendant " of the Royal 



94 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

Theatre. We read of Moscheles enjoying the beautiful 
music in the Catholic Church, the brilliant singers 
Sassaroli, Tibaldi, &c. He speaks of Tieck, who 
delighted him with his reading of " Clavigo," of August 
Klengel, whose canon studies Moscheles prized as 
masterpieces, and with whom he spent many an 
enjoyable evening. Weber and his amiable wife 
invited him to their house at Hosterwitz (near 
Dresden). There, too, was Friedrich Kind, librettist 
of the " Freyschütz/' and Weber's intention of 
accepting an invitation to England was earnestly 
discussed. " Of course/'' says Moscheles, _" I can 
give him information and practical hints on measures 
necessary for his scheme. But I am sorry* to see him 
in a state of debility and suffering, and dread the 
exertions which London will cost him." Unfortunately, 
these fears were destined to be realized, as we shall 
afterwards see in the vear 1826. 

Moscheles had to play again in Pilnitz before the 
Royal family, and again his . performance was to be 
during the dinner hour. The redeeming feature was 
a jovial dinner amongst the artists after the per- 
formance was over, and they were much amused at 
receiving, in accordance with ancient custom, a thaler 
each for gloves, besides such valuables as the gold 
snuff-box with which Moscheles was presented. " The 
thaler," he writes, " goes well with the Vandalism of 
playing to royal folk at their dinner." 

r 




LEIPZIG. 95 

On the 8th of October, Moscheles and his brother 
went to Leipzig. Here let us briefly anticipate that 
important period of Moscheles' life which was spent 
in that city. Many years were to elapse before 
Moscheles, at the instigation of his friend Mendelssohn, 
was induced to migrate to Leipzig, where he was 
destined to remain and labour in the cause of art to the 
end of his days. It was in 1846 that Mendelssohn 
founded the Conservatorio of Music in Leipzig, and 
wished the pupils of that Institute to enjoy the benefit 
of his friend's experience. Alas ! their joint efforts 
were to last but one short year. After Mendelssohn's 
death, Moscheles accepted as a sacred trust the duty 
of further developing that great Institute that owed 
its foundation to his departed friend. 

But to return to the year 1824, and to the influence 
that Leipzig at that time exercised on his artistic 
creed. Whilst retaining his bravura style of playing, 
he aspired with ever-increasing earnestness to the 
highest aims of musicianship, and sought to appear 
with the calm and self-possession of thorough mastery 
before judges whose criticisms he respected, and an 
audience whom he considered well versed in art matters. 

Referring to the diary of those days we find Moscheles 
at the " Birnbaum " (now called the Hotel de Po- 
logne), and visiting the whole musical fraternity. 
Kapellmeister Weinlich, Schulz, the violin-player, 
Matthäi, Mademoiselle Veltheim, the singer — all these 



96 LTFE OF MOSCHELES. 

are favourably mentioned, and he delights in accom- 
panying Madame Weitte, an excellent artiste. The 
following is an interesting notice added in after - 
years : " I must have seen the little Clara, after- 
wards the famous Clara Schumann at her father's, 
Mr. Wieck, and little did I think then what 
intense pleasure she would give me in after- years, 
and how her execution of my own G minor 
concerto in the Gewandhaus would delight me. No 
better reading and execution of the work can be 
heard ; I could not myself play it more to my own 
satisfaction. It is just as if she had composed it 
herself." Later on we read in the diary : " I have 
done business in that famous commercial city of 
Leipzig. Probst bought my Op. 62 and 63 for 35 
ducats, and I had 40 from Mechetti for my G minor 
concerto. Others, too, meet me in a very friendly 
way, and help me in making my concert arrangements. 
They introduced me to the Liedertafel, whose per- 
formances are excellent. There I met the famous 
critic Rochlitz, the admirable actors Devrient and 
Genast, &c. Bernhard Romberg, who had just come 
to Leipzig, agreed with me in saying that it is 
delightful to play before such judges." Moscheles 
took delight in the theatre, then under the direction 
of Hof rath Küstner, where he saw works by Shak- 
speare and Schiller acted to perfection. With regard 
to his own concert, he savs : " It is remarkable that 
I gave it on the 18th of October. It appears that I, 



VISIT TO BERLIN. 97 

too, have won my battle ; for even in the room the 
directors pressed me to give a second concert. I 
have not, however, made up my mind to this." He 
did so the next morning, when urged by the local 
paper to grant the directors' request. The times in 
which artists were pressed to give concerts are amongst 
the things of the past. Friedrich Schneider, the 
composer of an oratorio, " Paradise Lost," showed him 
this new work when he visited Dessau to perform 
before the Court. 

On the 31st of October, Moscheles and his brother 
arrived at Berlin. His notes on his stav here are 
more cursory than usual. He seems to consider all 
else unimportant as compared with his relations to 
the family of Mendelssohn. It is incidentally men- 
tioned that he gave three brilliant concerts for the 
sufferers from inundation, for the blind, and for other 
charitable institutions, also that he played for some 
personal friends. We read, too, that the haute finance, 
the poets, the statesmen, were glad to welcome him. 
Spontini's operas, with their brilliant scenery and 
pageantry, the admirable singers Bader, Blum, Frau 
Milder- Hauptmann, and Frau Seidler- Wranitzky, even 
the charming actress Fräulein Bauer, are merely 
alluded to, and the great political event, the marriage 
of the King with the Princess Licgnitz is referred to 
in a few passing words. He writes, however, whole 
pages about Felix Mendelssohn's home and his family. 
We quote his impressions after a first visit : " This is a 

VOL. I. H 



98 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

family the like of which I have never known. Felix, a 
boy of fifteen, is a phenomenon. What are all prodigies 
as compared with him ? Gifted children, but nothing 
else. This Felix Mendelssohn is already a mature artist, 
and yet but fifteen years old ! We at once settled 
down together for several hours, for I was obliged 
to play a great deal, when really I wanted to hear him 
and see his compositions, for Felix had to show me a 
Concerto in C minor, a double Concerto, and several 
motets ; and all so full of genius, and at the same 
time so correct and thorough ! His elder sister Fanny, 
also extraordinarily gifted, played by heart, and with 
admirable precision, Fugues and Passacailles by Bach. 
I think one may well call her a thorough f Mus. Doc/ 
(guter Musiker). Both parents give one the impres- 
sion of being people of the highest refinement. They are 
far from overrating their children's talents ; in fact, 
they are anxious about Felix's future, and to know 
whether his gift will prove sufficient to lead to a noble 
and truly great career. Will he not, like so many 
other brilliant children, suddenly collapse? I asserted 
my conscientious conviction that Felix would ultimately 
become a great master, that I had not the slightest 
doubt of his genius ; but again and again I had to in- 
sist on my opinion before they believed me. These two 
are not specimens of the genus prodigy-parents (Wun- 
derkinds-Eltern), such as I must frequently endure/' 
The pleasure, however, was mutual, and the offener 
Moscheles came to dine and spend the evening at 



THE MENDELSSOHN FAMILY. 99 

their house, the heartier was the reception he met with. 
The Mendelssohns had frequently begged him to give 
Felix some lessons, but these requests he had with 
characteristic modesty always answered evasively. He 
writes in the diarv ; " Felix has no need of lessons : if 
he wishes to take a hint as to anything that is new to 
him, from hearing me play, he can easily do so." 
Madame Mendelssohn wrote to him on the 18th of 
November, 1 824 : " Have you kindly thought over our 
request about the lessons ? You would extremely 
oblige us by consenting, if such a thing can be done 
without disturbing your plans during your stay in 
this place. Don't set down these repeated inquiries 
as inopportune, but attribute them entirely to the wish 
that my child should be enabled to profit by the 
presence of the prince of pianists." Even after this, 
Moscheles seems not to have made up his mind to say 
" Yes," but merely to have spoken of " playing occa- 
sionally," for on the 22nd of November we find again 
the following note : " If I may be allowed, dear Mr. 
Moscheles, to renew my request that you will give 
lessons to my two eldest children, be good enough to 
let me know your terms. I should like them to 
begin at once, that they may profit as far as pos- 
sible during the time of. your stay here." This note 
Moscheles must have answered in the affirmative, for 
on the 22nd of November he writes in his diarv : 
" This afternoon, from two to three o'clock, I 
gave Felix Mendelssohn his first lesson, without 

h 2 



100 LIFE Ol 1 MOSCHELES. 

losing sight for a single moment of the fact that I was 
sitting next to a master, not a pupil. I feel proud that 
after so short an acquaintance with me his distin- 
guished parents entrust me with their son, and con- 
gratulate myself on being permitted to give him some 
hints, which he seizes on and works out with that 
genius peculiar to himself." Six days later he says : 
"Felix Mendelssohn's lessons are repeated every second 
day ; to me Jhey are subjects of ever-increasing 
interest ; he has already played with me my Allegri di 
Bravura, my concertos, and other things, and how 
played ! The slightest hint from me, and he guesses 
at my conception." 

From this time dates Moscheles' close intimacy with 
the family. He delighted in the intellectual atmo- 
sphere of the house : and would listen with interest to 
the conversation of Felix's father, " with his sound views 
on art-subjects ; w he attended many of their morning 
or evening musical entertainmeuts, and scrupulously 
catalogued the programmes. " On the 23rd November/'' 
he writes, " I heard a Psalm by Naumann, at the 
Singakademie, afterwards went to the Mendelssohns'. 
The brother and sister played Bach." 

" Nov. 25th. — With the family of Mendelssohn- 
Bartholdy at the brother's house." 

" Nov. 28th (Sunday). — Music in the morning at the 
Mendelssohns'. C minor quartet by Felix. D major 
Symphony, concerto by Bach, duet in D minor for 
two pianos by Arnold. 



LESSONS TO FELIX MENDELSSOHN. 101 

" Nov. 30th. — At Frau Varnhagen's with Felix. Ex- 
ceedingly interesting." 

Frau Varnhagen was the famous Rahel, of whose 
amiability and masculine understanding so much has 
been said and written. Her receptions were the rallying 
point for artists, scholars, and statesmen, for every one 
of whom she had a suitable word or a willing ear, and 
all this was done with perfect simplicity, whilst her 
good nature always prompted her to draw out the 
least gifted of her acquaintance. She loved music, so 
that a genius like Felix Mendelssohn was a heartfelt 
delight to her, and she invariably showed her warm 
appreciation of Moscheles. 

"Dec. 3rd, 12 o'clock. — Music at Zelter's. Fanny 
Mendelssohn played the D minor Concerto by S. Bach, 
which I saw in the original manuscript. A mass in 
five parts by S. Bach was performed. 

" Dec. 5th. — At Geheimrath Crelle's Felix ac- 
companied Mozart's Requiem, in commemoration of 
the day of his death : Zelter and others were present. 

"Dec. 11th. — A birthday festival at Mendelssohns', 
at which we were treated to some charming private 
theatricals. Felix distinguished himself as an actor 
quite as much as Edward Devrient. 

"Dec. 12th (Sunday.) — Music at Mendelssohns'. 
Felix F minor Quartet. I played with him my duet 
in G for two pianofortes. Young Schilling played 
Hummel's Trio in G." 

Zelter, the well-known teacher of Felix and his 



102 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

sister, nevei failed to attend these morning per- 
formances. Although in his outward manner rather 
harsh and forbidding, he was not a little proud 
of his pupils. He invited Moscheles to a friendly 
supper, upon which his guest observes : " My 
musical conversations with Zelter were extremely in- 
teresting to me. He is the man who corresponded 
so much with Goethe on Teltower Rübchen and 
other better things/'' 

" December 13th. — Returned to Felix his album, in 
which I yesterday wrote the Impromptu op. 77. He 
played it admirably at sight/' 



Allegro. _ _ :£" 



~^^&^=\-=^^l^t:w-- 






On the 15th of December Moscheles reluctantly 
departed from Berlin, and the Mendelssohn family, to 
which he had become so closely attached. He and his 
brother travelled with Fräulein Bauer and her mother 
to Potsdam, where he played, according to promise, at 
Blum's evening concert in presence of the Court. 

17th of December w T as a melancholy day. Moscheles 
and his brother had to separate. The latter was bourd 
for Prague ; Moscheles went by coach to Magdeburg. 
" That kind brother of mine/' he exclaims, " he has 
spoiled me by his devotion/' 



ZELTER. 103 

By desire of the Governor, General Haack, the 
concert in Magdeburg, on the 20th of December, had 
to be repeated on the 23rd of the same month. After 
paying a flying visit to Brunswick, Moscheles spent the 
last day of the year at Hanover, in quiet retirement. 



104 



CHAPTER VIII. 
1825. 

HANOVER — THE DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE — HAMBURG MARRIAGE TO 

CHARLOTTE EMBDEN — PARIS — INTERCOURSE WITH DISTINGUISHED 
MEN — RECEPTION IN LONDON — MORl'S MONSTER CONCERTS — 
SEBASTIAN ERARD'S INVENTION — ADVANTAGE OF NUMBERING 

CONCERT TICKETS— HABITS OF STUDY — SIR MICHAEL COSTA 

SUNDAYS WITH THE CLEMENTIS THE COLLARDS — HOLIDAY 

EXCURSIONS AND CONCERTS — A LIVERPOOL REHEARSAL — THE 
CHRISTMAS WAITS. 

THE Duke of .Cambridge, a great lover of music, 
was at this time Regent of Hanover, and his name, 
with those of the Platens, Kielmansegges, and others, 
appeared in the list of patrons to Moscheles' two suc- 
cessful concerts. 

Mocheles next played at Celle, and on the 16th of 
January reached Hamburg. The diary records the 
names of Ciasing, Grund, Lindenau, Rudersdorf, 
Lehmann, and the little Louise David (afterwards 
Madame Dulcken), who, in spite of her tender years, 
played the ' Alexander Variations ' admirably. 

Amongst the great crowd of listeners in the Apollo- 
saal at Hamburg was Charlotte Embden, Moscheles' 
future wife. A fair pianiste herself, she was enchanted 
with Moscheles' wonderful playing; a short acquain- 
tance led to an engagement, and on the 1st of March 



MOSCHELES' MARRIAGE. 105 

they were married. The day is thus marked in the 
husband's diary : " My l Ehrentag' (day of honour). 
With the fullest sense of happiness, with purity of 
heart and intention, and full of gratitude to the 
Almighty, I entered this holy state, and pray God 
to bless me/' We omit all the glowing passages 
confided to the diary by the happy bridegroom during 
the honeymoon. Suffice it to say that they bear 
witness to the love and esteem which were to lay the 
foundation of long years of happiness. 

Moscheles gave concerts at Hamburg, Lüneburg, 
and Altona, for his own benefit, or for his friends, and 
on behalf of charitable institutions. The young couple 
went to Bremen and Aix-la-Chapelle> on their way to 
Paris, and there, at the houses of their relatives, met 
the painter Gerard, Benjamin Constant, Alexander 
Humboldt, Meyerbeer, and his brother Michael, 
Hummel, F. Mendelssohn and his father, and other 
men of note. 

Moscheles writes to his father-in-law : " Charlotte 
has given me to-day an album, in which all the artists 
here assembled have written their autographs."* 

On the 28th of March, Moscheles completed a con- 
tract with the Academie Royale de Musique, by which 
he engaged to play at the last " Concert Spirituel," 
in return for which he was promised the use of the 

* This album was, for the space of forty-five years, enriched at 
every opportunity by contributions from the numerous celebrities, 
musical, literary, and otherwise, with whom Moscheles was b rough 
in contact. It is now in the possession of his son Felix. 



106 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

Salle des Italiens, when he should next visit Paris. 
On the present occasion he found no time for availing 
himself of this privilege, but travelled rapidly to 
London, where he had been long expected. 

On the 2nd of May, 1825, Moscheles and his wife ar- 
rived in London, where he was immediately offered 
engagements, as also at Bath, Bristol, and other places. 
His pupils, too, rally round him. " My wife/' he writes, 
" received a most cordial welcome, and friends vie 
with each other in showing her kindness. Can this 
be the insular formality which makes foreigners cry 
down the English as unsociable V 

In May the Philharmonic Society and the Royal 
Academy had their first meetings, and at the end of 
the month Mori gave one of his famous u monster 
concerts/'' in which Moscheles had to take a part. Mori, 
a clever violin-player, as well as a publisher of music, 
was frequently leader at the great provincial festivals, 
and also the originator of the " monster concerts. " 
These were notoriously overcrowded. Angry remarks 
appeared in the newspapers, but inasmuch as the 
leading artists were always engaged by Mori, such 
complaints had little effect. 

On the 1st of June we find this interesting note : 
" Pierre Erard showed and explained to me on a dumb 
keyboard his uncle Sebastian's now completed in- 
vention, for which the firm has just taken out a 
patent. I saw the earliest experiment of this invention 
in Paris. It consists in the key, when only sunk half 



NUMBERING CONCERT TICKETS. 107 

way, again rising and repeating the note. I was the 
first to play npon one of the newly completed instru- 
ments, and found it of priceless value for the repeti- 
tion of notes. In the matter of fulness and softness of 
tone, there is something yet to be desired, and I had a 
long conversation on the subject with Erard." 

His appearance at the Philharmonic, and his own 
benefit, are described in glowing colours by Mrs. 
Moscheles in her letters to her friends. From these 
we select one, which represents her as a novice in the 
mysteries of concert arrangements. " It is my busi- 
ness to see that the tickets are numbered. At first 
this seemed to me rather gratuitous trouble, but I was 
soon enlightened on the point. A handsomely dressed 
lady who came to me, asked for three tickets at 
half-a-guinea each, and pocketed them. Instead of 
paying, however, she said her husband was a doctor, 
and presented his card there and then, adding that he 
never knew beforehand whether he should be able to 
go to the concert or not. On the day after she would 
send back either the tickets or the money. I, as 
a novice, agreed to it ; but my husband, when he came 
home, laughed, and declared I had allowed myself to 
be taken in. He went to the doctor in question. The 
doctor laughed also. ' It is certainly my card/ said 
he, ' but any one of my numerous patients may have 
taken it away from my table here, nor am I so fortu- 
nate as to possess a wife V Thus Moscheles was right. 
I had been taken in. Then he wrote down in large 



108 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

figures the respective numbers, and gave them to the 
ticket-collector. Sure enough three ladies arrived 
who asked admittance, and showed the tickets in ques- 
tion. They were stopped, and told that they must pay 
or they would not be admitted. They protested they 
had no money with them — they would pay next morn- 
ing. The ticket- collector called to Moscheles, and the 
ladies decamped. Moral — it is a useful plan to put 
numbers on the concert tickets." 

The season drawing to a close, Moscheles began to 
breathe freely, and as his pupils were leaving London, 
he had more time for the composition of his " Studies," 
which in spite of all his professional avocations were 
constautly uppermost in his mind. On his walk from 
the house of one pupil to another, he used to dot 
down the subjects on any letter or other scrap of 
paper he happened to have in his pocket. In the 
evening these subjects were worked out, and all fatigue 
and sense of ennui forgotten. His wife would try over 
certain passages, and practise them on the next day 
during his absence from home. His latest hours of 
an evening were devoted to rising artists, amongst 
whom was the youthful and now famous Sir Michael 
Costa, who showed him his Canzonettes. In those 
days Moscheles already practised in a small way that 
hospitality which, carried on more extensively in later 
years, was of such comfort to many a homeless 
German in London. 

The Moscheles' passed their Sundays with the 



CLEMENTI AND THE COLLARDS. 109 

Clcmentis, at Elstree, near London. " Clementi," says 
Moscheles, " is one of the most vigorous old fellows of 
seventy that I ever saw. In the early morning we 
watch him from our window running about the 
garden bareheaded, reckless of the morning dew. He 
is too lively ever to think of rest. At table he laughs 
and talks incessantly. He has a sharp temper, too, 
which we set down to the hot blood of his Italian 
nature. He plays on the piano now but rarely, and 
gives out that he has a stiff hand, the result of falling 
out of a sledge when he was in Russia, but there is a 
suspicion that his unwillingness is caused by his inability 
to follow the great progress the Bravura style has made 
since his time. His wife, an amiable Englishwoman, is 
a great contrast to him." Clementi at that time was 
joint owner with the Collard brothers of a flourishing 
pianoforte firm. Moscheles, contrasting their pianos 
of those days with those of Broad wood, praised their 
lightness of touch, and consequently used them by 
preference when he played in public. Their tone, too, 
he found clearer, whilst the Broad wood, with a some- 
what muffled tone and heavy action, produced a fuller 
sound. Moscheles called William Collard, the younger 
brother, i( one of the most intelligent men he ever 
came across," and he soon became the most intimate 
friend and adviser of the young couple. Collard was 
a regular visitor at Elstrec, and when the friends met, 
Clementi would say, " Moscheles, play mc something \" 
and the latter would choose one of his host's Sonatas, 



110 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

whilst Clementi, listening with a complacent smile, 
his hands behind his back, his short, thick-set figure 
swinging to and fro, would call out at intervals, 
" Bravo." When the last note was over, he would tap 
Moscheles in a friendly way upon the shoulder, and 
warmly congratulate him on his performance. 

At last, after the season had been struggled through, 
the Moscheles could get away from London for a 
quiet holiday, and accepted an invitation from Mr. 
Fleming, of Stoneham Park, Southampton. The lady 
of the house was a pupil of Moscheles, and both she 
and her husband were for many years his and his 
wife's intimate friends. 

" The house is full of company, including Lord 
Palmerston and some of his relatives. It is of course 
interesting to meet such men, and follow the 
Parliamentary discussion carried on at table. The 
principles they advocate are those of purest Toryism. 
It is fortunate that the art I represent stands upon 
neutral ground. At midnight, when we are in the 
drawing room, my art is again in the ascendant ; then 
we have music until one or two o'clock. No wonder 
that the first beams of morning find us sleeping." 

In the next month the Moscheles went to Chel- 
tenham for the waters. " Here," he says, " we enjoy 
our tete-ä-tete to our heart's content ; the chateau 
was beautiful, but the retired life, the first since our 
marriage, is far more to our taste." And again : " I 
not only give my wife pianoforte lessons, but I teach 



BRAHAM. Ill 

her how to copy music ; and whilst she is practising 
that art, I compose an Impromptu, for which I have 
a commission from the Harmonic Institution. It is 
to be on the march from ' Tarare/ or ' Axur/ by 
Salieri, which opera, concocted for the English market, 
is now greatly applauded in London. This march has 
been metamorphosed by Mr. W. Hawes into a war- 
song, and awakens the greatest enthusiasm when sung 
by Braham. He makes a great point with the passage — 

" ' Revenge !' he cries, 
And the traitor dies." 

At Cheltenham, Moscheles wrote to order three 
Rondos, on " Die Wiener in Berlin," besides " La 
Petite Babillarde," for Cramer, his B minor " Study," 
&c. &c. 

From Cheltenham they made some pleasant excur- 
sions to Oxford and elsewhere, and then settled 
down at No. 77, Norton Street, London. They 
always regarded as the most valuable addition to 
their household gods a splendid piano, presented 
to them by Clcmenti, and on which was inscribed with 
his own hand, in front of the keyboard, the dedica- 
tion : " Muzio Clcmenti e Socj all' ingegnosissimo, 
J. Moscheles, ed alia sua amabilissima consortc." 

The quiet domestic happiness was soon interrupted 
by professional business. Moscheles was invited to 
give concerts in Liverpool and Dublin. These offers 
he would have declined, as he disliked travelling 
alone, but at last his wife's argument prevailed, 



112 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

and he writes on the 4th of November, " To-day 
I had to endure the hard trial of parting from 
my wife/'' On reaching Liverpool, and being taken 
by his friends to see the Town Hall, and Nelson's 
Monument, by Westmacott, he exclaims : " I was 
struck by the grandeur of the statue ; may be I was 
still more surprised at being repeatedly asked to give 
lessons during the three days of my stay in Liverpool. I 
visited Roscoe, and found the old man very amiable and 
gracious. He took the trouble to show me his new work 
upon West Indian plants, and to give me most inte- 
resting explanations on the subject. On the 8th of 
November, at noon, we had the rehearsal in the Concert 
Room ; but what a rehearsal ! Wretched is too tame 
an expression for it. Mori, the London artist, did 
all that possibly could be done, but what was to be 
made out of a band consisting of a double quartet 
and four halting wind-instruments. The director of 
the theatre played the entrepreneur of the concert, 
Mr. Wilson, the trick of keeping away the orchestral 
performers, so that I was obliged to play the first 
movement of the E flat concerto and the Alexander 
Variations with a bare quartet accompaniment. The 
brilliant and numerous audience was much pleased 
with my Fantasia on ' Rule Britannia/ and an Irish 
air; and I was enchanted with my Clementi piano. 
Every evening I write to my wife, and the news I get 
from her cheers and invigorates me for my performance. 
On the 9th of November I was very successful with 






WATTS AT CHRISTMAS. 113 

my first concert at Chester ; Phillips aud I explored 
the interesting old city and its environs ; and the 
next day we went on to Manchester. The better 
composition of the orchestra, directed by Mr. Cad» 
more, the general management of the concert directors, 
Baker and Fletcher, and the co-operation of several 
clever German amateurs, gave a new, zest to my per- 
formance, and I was rapturously applauded. I could 
not, however, enjoy this fully, as I was anxious to get 
home." The first notice, after his return, tells us of 
the birth of his first-born, and then follow many 
expressions of anxiety, owing to the state of his wife 
and child. Towards the end of the year, he writes : 
" My mind is at ease. I can go back again to my work. 
I was at Erard's to-day, and saw his excellent pianos, 

which are built upon the new principle* but I decidedly 

■ 

refused his proposal to bind myself down to play 
solely on them, in spite of the profitable conditions he 
offered me. I intend for the future to be as perfectly 
free in this respect as heretofore." Later on he 
writes: " Ad odd incident made us laugh heartily. 
At Christmas time, a band of wind-instruments (the 
waits) plays here generally late in the evening, aud they 
mustered in force at my door ; I knew this custom of 
old, and as I remembered all the tortures I had en- 
dured from their falsely harmonized chorales, I ordered 
the servant to tell them they would certainly get no 
Christmas-box from me, unless they promised never to 
return again. Trombone, much wounded, sent back 

VOL. I. I 



114 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

to say, ' Tell your master, if he does not like music, 
he will not go to heaven/ " 

Moscheles, after having finished a Fantasia for 
Collard, remarks : u The twenty-five guineas I get for 
my work is the best part about it ; it belongs to 
that class of ephemeral productions which I do not 
treat to the distinction of a number in the catalogue 
of my compositions." 

On the 31st we read : " We end the year with 
feelings of special gratitude to God's Providence, 
which has permitted us to tide over great perils." 



> 



115 



CHAPTEE IX. 

1826. 

STORMY VOYAGE TO IRELAND — IMPRESSIONS OF DUBLIN — RECEPTION 
AT THE CASTLE— RETURN TO LONDON — MUSICAL ACTIVITY — C. M. 
VON WEBER — DER FREYSCHÜTZ AT COVENT GARDEN — IMPROVISATION 
— REHEARSAL OF " OBERON " — BRAHAM'S BEMEFIT — CAPRICE OF 
THE " GODS"— WEBER* S CONCERT — DEATH OF WEBER— THALBERG 
— VISIT TO GERMANY — SONTAG — FELIX MENDELSSOHN — ART AND 
ARTISTS IN BERLIN. 

ON the first of January, Moscheles begins his diary 
thus: " To-day I can call my happiness my own ; 
by to-morrow I shall have left it. But, courage ! it 
must be so ! I am in honour böuncl to fulfil my engage- 
ments." He went first to Bath, thence to Liverpool, 
and thus describes with much minuteness the dangers 
and difficulties in those days inseparable from a long 
journey, and of which we, in our age of rail and 
steamer, can scarcely form an idea. " On the 4th of 
January, at seven a.m., I started from Liverpool, and 
arrived at Birmingham at eight in the evening. On 
the 5th I travelled without stopping day or night. 
At two a.m. I had a grievous contretemps. We were 
close to Bangor, and I, the only passenger, was turned 
out of the warm coach into the cold, raw night, and 
made to cross the rushing river in an open boat. It 



j ' 



r%> 






,2 









t ; 



r 



116 » LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

gave me the shivers, but I stood my ground, muttering 
my watchword, i Courage and patience!'' On the 
opposite shore a iorlorn and solitary passenger got 
inside the mail-coach, which was standing in readiness. 
Thus we jogged on for the rest of the night — wind 
blowing, snow falling — until at last, at five a.m., we 
arrived at Holyhead." 

" January 6th. — Eventful day ! Severe trial ! 
God's saving hand ! In the hotel I found a respecta- 
ble set of fellow-travellers, consisting of two gentlemen 
and one lady, ready to embark for Dublin. They 
were still waiting for the Chester mail, which arrived 
at seven o'clock. We were told that there was no 
steamboat to take us across the Channel ; that the 
violent winds of the last few days had kept all the 
steamers on the Irish side, but that a sailing vessel 
would start immediately, and carry the mails across in 
from six to seven hours. Would we passengers cross 
in that vessel ? We agreed, and embarked shortly 

after seven o'clock. It rair^ed i f n torjents, and the 

Ja.. 
sea was so high that we soon betook ourselves to our 

berths. I suffered so violently that after a few hours , 

I was completely prostrate. The gale meanwhile 

increased. I counted the passing hours. It grew 

dark, but we did not land. The^feward, on being 

,1 : 

asked when we'should be released, whispered, ' Who 
knows? we are doing badly!' — Words too clearly 
verified by the lurcmng or the boat. Although I lay 
smothered in blankets and clothes, my feet were 



1 






DANGEROUS VOYAGE. 117 



? 



B 



perished with cold. It cost rae no sligjht effort to 
shake off my drowsiness, and, groping about, to discover 
that the sea-water had got into my berth ; the ship 
had become leaky. There was no longer any mystery 
about that, for the water came hissing into the cabin. 
The storm howled fiercely ; it was pitch-dark. The 
captain could offer no other comfort than the assur- 
ance that we were not far from shore. Of course, not 
near enough to land. We were surrounded by rocks 
and sandbanks, and yet not near enough for a distress 
signal to be perceptible from the coast. At last, after 
a long battle and the most fearful shocks from the 
waves, which knocked our vessel about like a play- 
thing, we were able to. throw. out anchors, and there 
we poor victims lay till daybreak. <■■ In this sad plight, <Jc?rf 
however, I had not lost heart ; faith in an Almighty 
Providence sustained me. I could think with calmness 
of my wife and child. They sleep peacefully, thank 
God, without sharing my hard fate. They will either 
see me again and rejoice, or bear my loss, with the 
help of God. I thought with painful composure of 
my other friends and relations. It seemed but a 
little step from this world to the next. At last, in 
the afternoon, the welcome tidings came, ' We are all 
right, a boat has reached our ship, and will take us 
up.' Whereupon, after getting together our goods and 

c/\ chattels, we were thrown, so to speak, with them into 
*^ 

the reeling boat, and, after a short fight with the 

foaming surf, landed in Ilowth harbour. There I 



A 



118 LIFE OE MOSCHELES. 

hired a postchaise, which carried, me (a /^even-mile 

Ia<.* m Jj-'^-- Lt vier - 

journey) to the city. The dreary, sandy plain, the 
country dotted over with ruins, the sorry aspect of the 
people, did not, I am bound to confess, impress me 
very favourably. At last I arrived in Dublin, drove 
over the beautiful Carlisle -bridge, and the Liffey, to 
Westmoreland Street, where I rested for a few hours 
in a lodging which Pigott, the music-seller, had hired 
for me." 

On the 8th of January, Mr. Pigott took him to 
Christchurch, where he heard an old-fashioned anthem 
by Dr. Spray. He then made a round of visits, 
and became personally acquainted with Sir Charles 
and Lady Morgan. " I had often admired her as a 
writer/' he observes, " and now find her an exceedingly 
amiable and sociable hostess." 

" January 9th. — To-day I received, through Colonel 
Shaw, adjutant to the Lord-Lieutenant the Marquis 
of Wellesley, the intelligence that his Excellency 
would attend my concert, and that it would be under 
his special patronage. To-day he desired me to play 
before the Court. I drove to the Palace in a smart 
carriage sent for me, and found numbers of the Irish 
nobility assembled there, this being the first soiree 
given by the Marchioness of Wellesley since her 
recent marriage. Some good pieces, as well as a 
terzetto for two guitars and Physharmonica (by Schulz 
and his sons), were performed in dumb show, the great 
folk talking loudly the whole time. The Lord- 



w 



CONCERTS IN DUBLIN. 119 

Lieutenant, addressing me in French, alluded to the 
very flattering recommendation I had brought him 
from Prince Esterhazy, and then asked me to play, 
and their Excellencies, as well as the whole party, 
were in raptures with my Fantasia on Irish me- 
lodies. 

" January 11th. — Introduced to the Anacreontic 
Society, consisting of amateurs who perform admirably 
the best orchestral works. The usual supper followed. 
After propitiating me with a trio from l Cosi fan 
tutte,' they drew me to the piano, but I did not trust 
the old worn-out./ instrument, and only played the 
overture to c Figaro/ My health was proposed at 
supper, and I had to return thanks. 

" January 13th. — First concert at Dublin, in the 
Rotunda. I suffered martyrdom at the rehearsal, 
chiefly from the wind instruments. Nor did my 
£/i troubles end there, for the director of the theatre, 
yjO 1 Mr. Abbot, forbade the attendance of my singers, 
Messrs. Kean and Latham. It was not before four 
o'clock, and after the rehearsal, that I succeeded in 
bringing him to reason. Mrs. and Miss Ashe 
sang. The E flat concerto and Alexander Variations 
were enthusiastically received, but my Fantasia on 
Irish themes was the feature of the evening." 

Moscheles dined with the Hibernian Catch Club, 
and writes : " Several glees were sung, and as a finale 
I improvised, whereupon the society unanimously 
elected me to an honorary membership." 



120 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

Further on we read : " M. Allan, son-in-law of 
Logier, gave a pnblie performance, where his pupils 
played. Pieces of my 'own were made to suffer. I 
repeat the word ( suffer.' I feel more and more that 
this Logier system may produce good timeists, hut 
what becomes of the right understanding and grasp of 
the composition ? What of its poetry, when eight 
pianos are filled into playing together with unerriug 
precision ? On the whole, I am struck by the musical 
taste and enthusiasm of the Irish nation." Good 
news from home, and a hearty reception in Ireland, 
amply explain the cheerful tone observable in the 
diary of these days. 

His wife writes : " Here is a business matter for 
you which will make you laugh. Only think ; old 
Nägeli, of Zurich, asks you to compose a Sonata for 
his periodical, but you are to avoid all repeating notes, 
all tenths, and all the usual signs used to indicate the 
expression. To conclude, he overwhelms you with 
compliments." 

Towards the end of January Moscheles felt so ex- 
hausted with playing in public and private, incessant 
lesson-giving, and attention to his many and various 
duties, that he made short work of his preparations, 
and set out for London and his happy home. Here 
he found his wife's father, who had arrived on a 
visit. The debates in both Houses of Parliament, 
Kemble's acting, Pasta's singing, and many other 
attractions of the winter season — all these were de- 



CARL MARIA VON WEBER. 121 

lightful novelties for the new- corner — but above all, 
Moscheles could show with honest pride a home, the 
comforts and happiness of which had resulted from 
his own unwearied activity and the honourable position 
he had achieved. Although his numerous pupils 
necessarily occupied much of his time, he composed in 
the course of this season the E minor, B minor, and 
D minor Studies, op. 70, his " Recollections of Ire- 
land/'' besides revising and correcting numbers of proof 
sheets, not only for himself, but also for such of his 
friends as were publishing compositions in England. 
These " Recollections of Ireland/'' heard for the first 
time in London, were warmly received at his concert. 
We read : " Kiesewetter played beautifully, it is true, 
but he, a friend, claimed a fee of ten guineas ; of 
course I agreed, but our friendly relations must be 
henceforth interrupted ; friends ought to assist each 
other gratis, that is my maxim. The great pressure 
of the public at the concert necessitated the use of 
the Royal box, and many of my patrons were obliged 
to leave the room for want of seats/' In those days 
people had not become acquainted with the convenient 
institution of reserved seats. 

The appearance of Carl Maria von Weber, who con- 
ducted the overture to " Euryanthe/' and an air from 
the same opera, sung by Caradori, may have been the 
principal cause of the crowded room. The illustrious man 
had been staying for the last few weeks with his friend 
Sir George Smart, and there Moscheles often saw him, 



122 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

although Weber's health obliged him to keep aloof 
from the generality of visitors. Unfortunately, he 
needed that repose which he could not find in a 
London season. Moscheles says : " What emotion he 
must have felt on his first appearance yesterday, before 
the English public, in Covent Garden Theatre ! The 
thundering applause with which he was greeted affected 
us deeply, how much more himself, the honoured 
object of all this enthusiasm ! The performance con- 
sisted of a selection from the ' Freyschütz/ conducted 
by himself; the overture was encored with acclamation. 
Braham, Miss Paton, and Phillips sang the chief 
numbers of the opera* they seemed inspired by Weber's 
presence. During the peals of applause, Weber shook 
hands with the singers, to express his pleasure and 
satisfaction ; at the end of the performance the whole 
pit stood up on the benches, waving hats and hand- 
kerchiefs, and cheering the composer. I saw him later 
on in the evening, sitting in the green-room, and com- 
pletely exhausted; he was too ill fully to enjoy this 
signal triumph in a land of strangers, but we, I mean 
the poet Kind, the flute-player Fürstenau, the good 
old harp-player Stumpff, the publisher Schulz, and 
myself, as being his fellow-countrymen, felt honoured 
in our friend's reception. " 

On the 12th of March Moscheles, on hearing Weber 
improvise in Braham's house, writes : (< Although it 
was not a remarkable exhibition of his powers, he 
made his performance deeply interesting by intro- 
ducing some subjects from c Frey schütz/ Unfortu- 



weber's visit to moscheles. 123 

nately his physical weakness makes any great exertion 
dangerous, and yet at eleven o'clock he hurried off to 
a large party given by Mrs. Coutts, as he was to be 



handsomely paid for his services. How we grieved at 
his thus over-exerrin^himsein^ 

On the 13th of March Weber is a guest at 
Moscheles' dinner-table. " What a treat ! And yet 
even here the sight of him moved us to, intense pity ! 
for he could not utter a word when he, entered our room; 
the exertion of mounting the small flight of stairs had 
completely taken away his breath ; he sank into a 
chair nearest the door, but soon recovered, and became 
one of the most delightful and genial of guests. We 
took him to the Philharmonic concert, the first he ever 
heard ; the next was conducted by himself. The fol- 
lowing was the programme : — 

Overtures to ' Euryanthe ' and c Freyschütz. ' 

Aria by Weber, composed for Mme. Milder, sung 

by Madame Caradori. 
Scena from ' Der Freyschütz/ sung by Sapio. 

Then Schuncke, a German, played the following pas- 
ticcio, conducted by the great German composer : — 
1st Movement — Concerto C minor. Kies. 

2 „ Part of Beethoven's E flat major 

Concerto. 

3 „ Hungarian Rondo by Pixis. 

" On the 11th of April I was present at the dress 
rehearsal of ' Obcron ' at Covent Garden ; people 
attended it like a regular performance ; the cos- 






] 24 ] JFE OF MOSCHELES. 

tumes, scenery, and the stage moon introduced with 
the air ' Ocean, thou mighty Monster/ were admirable. 
This air, which was written expressly for Miss Paton by 
Weber whilst in London, made a grand effect, and so 
did the scena written for Braham (Hiion). Both 
singers were allowed an opportunity of displaying their 
fine voices, and producing certain striking effects, which 
told powerfully on the audience. Weber, as he sat 
at the conductor's desk, must have felt that it was not 
merely an audience, but a nation rising to applaud, 
and that his works would long survive him." 

Poor Weber himself, in the midst of these triumphs, 
became weaker and weaker, yet he continued to per- 
severe in active work, and conducted at several concerts 
where Moscheles played, his overtures to " Frey- 
schütz," "Oberon/' &c. " On the 18th of May," 
says Moscheles, " we both assisted Braham in quite 
an original fashion ; it was his annual benefit (at 
Covent Garden Theatre), and he, the most popular of 
English singers, used always on this occasion to please 
the c gods' by singing sailors' songs, so we had to endure 
a similar state of things to-night. Madame Vestris, the 
popular singer, who appeared in the operetta ' The 
Slave/ found willing listeners among the occupants of 
the galleries, who ruled the Jiouse, and were delighted 
with such nursery ditties as c Goosie Goosie Gander/ 
&c. So far so well, but Braham had calculated without 
his host in setting before such an audience as this good 
music for the second part of the concert, which he 



WEBER AT BRAHAM's CONCERT. 125 

called ' Apollo's Festival/ and which, after the poor stuff 
that had been played and sung, began with the over- 
ture to the ' Ruler of the Spirits/ Could no one 
see that Weber himself was conducting ? Fm sure I 
don't know, but the screams and hubbub in the gallery- 
while the overture was played, without a note being 
heard from beginning to end, made my blood boil ; 
in a state of high indignation, I sat down to mv 
piano on the stage, and gave a sign to the band beneath 
me to begin my { Recollections of Ireland/ At the 
opening bar of the introduction, the roughs in the 
gallery made themselves heard by whistling, hissing, - : 
U ' snouting, and calling out l Are you comfortable, Jack ?' 
accompanying the question with Volleys of orange peel. 
I heard the alternate Crescendos and decrescendos ; 
and fancied that in this chaos all the elements had 
been let loose, and would overpower me ; but, thank 
heaven, they did not, for in this new and unexpected 
situation I resolved not to come to any sudden stoppage, 
but to show the better part of my audience that I was 
ready to fulfil my engagement, I stooped down to the 
leading violinist, and said, ' I shall continue to move 
my hands on the keyboard, as though really playing. 
Make your band pretend to be playing also ; after a 
short time I will give you a signal and we will leave 
off together/ No sooner said than done. On making 
my bow as I retired, I was overwhelmed with a hurri- 
cane of applause. The gods cheered me, being- 
glad to get rid of me. Next came Miss Paton, with 



(jU*"* 



i 
126 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

a scena for the concert room. She met with a is 

similar fate. Three times she stopped singing, bat came/^V^ 
forward again, in answ r er to the calls of the well-behaved 
portion of the audience, who shouted e silence/ At 
last the poor lady went away, burst into tears, and gave 
it up. Thunders of applause followed her exit, and 
when common ballads and songs began afresh, 
the gods were once more all attention and good 
behaviour/'' This affair went the round of all the 
papers. Moscheles was highly commended for his 
calmness and self-possession, whilst the tears of poor 
Miss Paton were rather severely commented upon. 

u I shall never forget/'' says Mrs. Moscheles, in 
one of her weekly letters, " the 20th of May, the day 
of Weber's concert ; for the composer, now so near his 
end, had made great exertions for a performance to 
be held in the Argyll Rooms, and yet met with so 
little support from the public. Lovers of music and the 
papers express their regret that it should be so, but say : 
W^hy hold it on the Derby-day, or allow it to clash 
with private concerts which monopolize the fashion- 
able world ? It was badly timed. As to the middle 
classes, they can only attend the theatres, and must 
not be charged with the neglect of his enterprise. Be 
that as it may, Weber conducted the never-failiug 
overtures to ' Oberon' and e Euryanthe ;' his still 
unknown cantata, ' The Festival of Peace -/ and a 
new ballad, written for and sung by Miss Stephens ; 
Braham gave the air from f Frey schütz' very finely ; 



WEBKIt's DTSAPPOINTMENT. 127 

Fürstenau, the flute-player, was heard for the first 
time, in some variation from ' Oberon ;' Kiesewetter 
played his inevitable May seder Variations in E major, 
and Moscheles took his subject for improvisation from 
the Cantata l Festival of Peace/ interwoven with 
( motives' from the ' Freyschütz/ Madame Caradori 
and Braham were the soloists in the cantata. To think 
of such music in an empty room." Weber's disappoint- 
ment at his ill success was so intense that he determined 
on forfeiting the receipts of his proposed benefit at the 
theatre, where " Der Freyschütz" was to be performed 
under his direction, and occupied himself solely with 
preparations for his journey homewards. 

In spite of the anxiety about Weber, Moscheles' 
birthday was not allowed to pass without some 
attempt at gaiety. " This time," his wife writes to re- 
latives, " we had a tableau, quite unique in its way, 
but alas ! matters are growing worse and worse with 
Weber." On the 4th of June Moscheles writes in his 
diary : " Sunday : When I visited the great man 
to-day, he talked very confidently of his return to 
Germany, but the frequent attacks of a dreadful con- 
vulsive cough, which left him completely prostrate, 
filled our minds with the utmost anxiety. When with 
great -effort he managed to tell me that he intended 
starting in two days' time, that I was to prepare my 
letters, and he hoped to see me again to-morrow, I was 
deeply moved, although I never suspected that I 
was looking on him for the last time as a living man. 



128 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

I left him with his friends, Kind and Fürstenau, 
and exchanged a few sad words with his kind host, 
Sir G. Smart, who told me that v on no account 
would Weber suffer any one to sit "up } with him; 
that every night he locked the ctoöüt oF nis bedroom, 
and that only to-day he had yielded to the earnest 
entreaties of his friends, and promised to leave it open, 
adding that he had peremptorily refused to allow any- 
body, either friends or paid attendant, to watch beside 
him. . i 

" June 5th. — Early this morning I was summoned 
in all haste to Sir G. Smart's. At eleven o'clock last 
night Fürstenau had conducted Weber to his bedroom ; 
his friends went to his door at an early hour, but 
found it locked inside, contrary to Weber's promise. 
To do this he must have got up during the night. It 
was in vain to knock or call for admission ; no answer 
came. So Sir George sent to me and other friends, 
and the door was broken open in our presence. The 
noise did not disturb the sleeper; it was his sleep of 
death. His head, resting on his left arm, was lying 

quietly on the pillow Any attempt to describe 

the depth of my sorrow would be profanation. I 
thought Weber a composer quite mi generis ; one who 
had the imperishable glory of leading back to our 
German music a public vacillating between Mozart, 
Beethoven, and Rossini. On his dressing-table lay a 
small washing-bill written by him. This I put in my 
pocket-book ; where I carried it ever after. I helped 



weber's funeral. 129 

Sir G. Smart and Fürstenau to seal up Weber's papers, 
and Sir George, feeling his great responsibility, sent 
for my own private seal. 

" June 6th. — This morning, after /the bjbdy of the 
great composer was placed in a leaden coffin, we opened 
and examined all his letters and papers, and made a list 
of all the property. Besides the thousand pounds which 
he must have earned in London, there was a further 
sum of a thousand pounds which he had received from 
the publishers, Walsh and Hawes, for the pianoforte 
edition of c Oberon/ We found the manuscript of that 
opera, and came upon a song which he had composed 
for a Mr. Ward, who had paid him 25/. for it. The 
pianoforte accompaniment was unfinished. Sir George 
eagerly pressed me to complete it. (This was done in 
after-years.) I appropriated to myself a few sheets of 
the first sketches of ' Oberon.' w 

A committee was now formed to decide upon the 
mode of conducting Weber's funeral. It consisted of 
the music publishers, Chappell and D'Almaine, W. 
Collard, from the firm of Clementi and Co., Preston 
and Power, Sir G. Smart, his brother, Mr. Smart, 
the composer, Sir John Stevenson, Mr. Attwood, 
organist of St. Paul's Cathedral, Braham, the singer, 
and Moscheles. It was proposed to give Mozart's 
Jlequiem in the Catholic Chapel, Moorfields, the 
receipts to be appropriated to raising a monument to 
Weber. But failing to secure the permission of the 
Iloman Catholic Bishop, who wished his congregation 

VOL. I. K 







130 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

to have free admission, application was made to the 
Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, with a view of securing 
a performance of the Requiem in their Cathedral. These 
gentlemen would not hear of a Requiem being per- 
formed in the Cathedral, and thus, after a deal of use- 
less discussion and writing, the body of the great man 
was deposited on the 21st of June in the Catholic Chapel 
of Moorfields. The public were admitted without pay- 
ment, so that no money was collected for a monument. 
" We artists/'' says Moscheles, " assembled for the 
funeral at nine o'clock in the morning, in the house of 
Sir G. Smart, and the procession moved on to the 
chapel in Moorfields. After the usual service, Mozart's 
Requiem was sung. Then twelve musicians (myself 
among the number) carried the body into the vault, 
whilst the funeral march from Handel's c Saul ' was 
played. Those solemn strains touched all of us most 
deeply." 

On the 12th of June the Philharmonic Society 
began their concert with the " Dead March in Saul," 
noted in the programme " as a tribute to a departed 
genius." On the 17th of the same month "Oberon" 
was given in Covent Garden Theatre for the benefit 
of Weber's family, but only two-thirds of the house 
was filbd. '" This again passes my comprehension." 

We read in a letter of Mrs. Moscheles : " Every- 
thing that my husband plays in public is trumpeted 
forth to you in the newspapers as f matchless,' ' un- 
rivalled/ and what not ! They must soon invent some 



THALBERG. 131 

new epithet. But / can only tell you of the kindly 
use he makes of his art in a quiet way. Yesterday, 
for example, our good old friend, Madame G., told me, 
with tears in her eyes, that for the first time since her 
sorrow she had enjoyed a happy quarter of an hour, 
and that was when Moscheles played to her. He 
w r ent to the house for the very purpose, and we spent 
the evening quite alone with the family. His sym- 
pathy is always shown by acts, not words, and yet 
every hour of the evening is of consequence to him." 

In the course of this season we find Moscheles 
playing constantly for the benefit of his friends and 
for several charitable institutions. Being unable to 
spare much time for rehearsals, he often extemporized, 
choosing generally for his subject the motivo of some 
piece which had particularly pleased the audience that 
evening. Of his own works, " Clair de Lune," the 
" Rondo in D major," and the u Recollections of 
Ireland" were invariably welcome. The most dis- 
tinguished of his pupils at that time was Thalberg, 
who, although still a young man, was already an artist 
of distinction and mark. It was a source of great 
satisfaction to Moscheles, who had pioneered the 
young pianist, to see him recognised, not merely by 
the public in general, but by such men as Cramer and 
Clementi, 

Many a fashionable soiree, entailing preparation, 
and leaving nothing behind but a feeling of ennui, 
was voted an interruption in Moscheles' household, 

k 2 



132 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

but the assemblage of celebrated men at the Roth- 
schilds and. some other houses is noted as inte- 
resting, and Prince Dietrichstein's invitation to a grand 
fancy dress ball in Covent Garden Theatre, from the 
brilliancy of the scene and the crowds that attended, 
quite unique in its way. Pit, stalls, and proscenium 
were formed into one grand room, in which the crowd 
promenaded. The costumes were of every conceivable 
variety, and many of the most gorgeous description. 
The spectators in full dress sat in the boxes. On the 
stage was a Court box, occupied by the Royal Family, 
and bands played in rooms adjoining, for small parties 
of dancers. a You will have some idea," says Mrs. 
Moscheles, " of the crowd at this ball, when I tell vou 
that we left the ball-room at two o'clock, and did not 
get to the Prince's carriage till four." 

Moscheles could not escape from the whirl of a 
London season until early in August, when he started 
for Hamburg. He marks the 7th of August, when he 
and his wife met their relatives, as a red letter day in 
his calendar. Six quiet happy weeks were enjoyed 
at Hamburg, and his intercourse with musical men, 
especially Bernhard Romberg, is often enlarged upon 
in the diary. The C major concerto was written 
during this visit. Leaving Hamburg, Moscheles, 
accompanied by his wife, halted first at Leipzig, where 
he played his newest compositions with great success, 
and had a pleasant meeting with his old friend Grill- 
parzer, whose tragedy, f Medea/ was given at the 



VIENNA. L33 

Theatre, in honour of the poet. During the next few 
weeks he played alternately in Leipzig and Dresden, and 
at the latter place speaks of an enjoyable evening at 
Tieck's (the translator of Shakspeare), who recited his 
satirical play " Die Verkehrte Welt/'' After a short 
visit to Prague, Moscheles gave two concerts at Vienna 
with the same unvarying success. In private circles, 
too, his return was eagerly welcomed, and his wife 
affectionately greeted. They never failed to attend the 
levees of his former patroness, Frau von £., which 
took place daily between four and six, the interval 
between dinner and theatre. The old lady, painted, 
rouged, and reclining on her luxurious sofa, received 
company. Abbes, poets, savants, such as Carpani, the 
friend and biographer of Haydn, and others, met 
at these afternoon receptions, where the last new 
thing in politics, or Vienna gossip, was discussed by 
officials and statesmen. Ladies appeared in evening 
dress. The conversation was carried on in rather 
poor French, and the atmosphere generally seemed 
artificial and difficult to breathe. Moscheles also 
saw much of Czerny, the Abbe Stadler, and Schindler 
(Fami de Beethoven, as he styled himself on his 
visiting cards). He was prevented from listening to 
the tempting offers of new engagements at Vienna, by 
a summons to attend his sister's marriage in Prague, 
where he gave two crowded concerts in the theatre. 
He notes the following : " During my improvisation, 
I interwove the melody in Cherubini' a f Wasserträger/ 



134 



LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 




with the Bohemian National Air : 

I 







- ^F - LiLȟi" 




&c, 



a combination which was received with rounds of ap- 
plause. I delighted in seeing my mother and wife, 
who sat together enjoying my triumph." Again we 
find him at Dresden. " I gave another successful con- 
cert, in the presence of Royalty, and was presented by 
Prince Max and Princess Louise with a pin — a laurel 
wreath of diamonds with a sapphire for the centre/'' 

" November 10th. — Visited poor Frau von Weber ; 
talked a great deal about her irreparable loss, and the 
many sad circumstances connected with it. I pro- 
mised her my best exertions to settle some business 
for her when I got back to London/'* 

Next day Moscheles travelled to Berlin, and of 
course visited the Mendelssohns, immediately after his 
arrival. 

" November 12th. — Fanny's fourteenth birthday 
celebrated with music and dancing. I relieved the 
young composer Dorn by playing some of the dance 



SONTAG — MENDELSSOHN. 135 

music, and had an earnest conversation with A. B. 
Marx on the subject of music/'' 

Owing to the worry incidental to preparations for 
his own concert, the sociable and delightful meetings 
with the Mendelssohns, Beer, Bendemann, and others 
were sadly interfered with. His friend Blume assisted 
him, although he and Sontag had been forbidden by 
the manager of a rival theatre to sing for him. 

" November 21st. — Day of the concert. Practised 
a great deal on an instrument which Madame Spon- 
tini (Erard's sister) sent me, with an urgent request 
that I would play on it at my concert. Fräulein Son- 
tag, who was not allowed to help me positively, did 
so negatively, by giving out that she was hoarse. 
Instead of singing in the ' Sargin/ she went with 
my wife to the concert, and escaped observation by 
hiding in the back of the box. When I thanked the 
famous artiste, she said with her peculiarly sweet 
smile, ' But, dear Moschcles, should not an old Vien- 
nese friend help to frustrate the cabals of a theatrical 
director V S' Jettl is immer noch's Jettl."* In spite 
of her good-nature and Möser's proficiency as leader 
of the band, the room was only two-thirds full, 
probably on account of the late announcement and 
other unfavourable circumstances." 

The meeting with Felix Mendelssohn and his family 
was the source of many happy hours to the Moscheles'. 

* " S' Jettl (familiar name for Henrietta) is still S' Jettl." 



136 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

" How delighted I was when he and his sister Fanny- 
played as a pianoforte dnet his new overture to the 
' Midsummer Night's Dream/ and how grand I 
thought his sonata in E major ! He played me also 
his great overture in C, with the leading subject for 
trumpets, and a small caprice which he called ( Ab- 
surditeV This great and still youthful genius has 
once more made gigantic strides, but, strange to say, 
these are but little recognised except by his teachers, 
Zelter, Louis Berger, and a select few. This prophet, 
too, is not honoured in his own country; he must go 
elsewhere. I am glad that he, Marx, and some con- 
noisseurs show much interest in my ' Studies/ by 
repeatedly coming to me to hear them played. Marx 
declares he is prepared to score one in C minor, 
entitled ' The Conflict of Demons/ which he- thinks 
particularly well suited to a band/' The origin of 
this C minor Study is curious. Moscheles had com- 
posed for his wife the " Rondo Expressif " in her 
favourite key of A flat major, and she practised it 
with great zeal, but never satisfied herself in the 
running scale passage at the end, and complained to 
him of this. " Very well/' said he ; " every one who 
feels this difficulty like you shall have a whole study 
of such runs to practise, and then they will soon 
learn them well enough." 

The Chevalier Spontini was very friendly towards 
Moscheles, and never classed him amongst the rivals 
and envious foes of whom he constantly complained; 



MOSCHELES "STUDIES. 137 

he consulted him privately with reference to the sum 
he should ask for the sale of his operas in England, 
and as to what means he should adopt for bringing 
out his works there. 

At the Königstadt Theatre the charming Sontag 
delighted Moscheles in the " Sargin/' the " Dame 
Blanche/' and the " Italiana in Algieri." Blume 
showed Moscheles his new opera, " Der Bramine/' in 
manuscript. Moser was just then studying, Beet- 
hoven's ninth symphony, and Moscheles attended the 
orchestral rehearsals and the performance with an 
ever-increasing interest and admiration for that 
colossal work. 

On the 28th of November a second concert takes 
place in the Grand Opera House, that was filled to 
overflowing. The whole Court attended. Moscheles 
played, amongst other things, the E flat major Con- 
certo, dedicated to the King. 

The last month of the year was spent at Hamburg, 
where he finished his " Twenty -four Studies/' op. 
70, and the Fantasia, " Anticipations of Scotland." 



13S 



CHAPTER X. 

1827. 



TOUR IN GERMANY — SPOHR— ELECTOR OF HESSE-CASSEL — MUSICAL 
PUPILS — TYROLESE SINGERS — ESCAPE FROM A DIFFICULTY — LISZT 
— LETTERS FROM BEETHOVEN — HIS MELANCHOLY CONDITION — 
CORRESPONDENCE WITH SCHINDLER AND RAU — BEETHOVEN'S 
RELATIVES — KARL VAN BEETHOVEN — GENEROUS ASSISTANCE 
OF THE LONDON PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY — DEATH OF BEETHOVEN — 
STARS IN LONDON— DINNER TO CLEMENTI — HEINE THE POET. 



MOSCHELES inaugurated the year 1827 by giving 
concerts in Hanover and Göttingen, availing 
himself of his opportunity in the latter place of 
attending a few lectures of the most learned men in 
the University, whilst he was warmly welcomed by 
the inhabitants of the town itself and the students. 

At Cassel he writes : li I am so delighted at seeing 
Spohr again, the consciousness that I understand this 
great man, the mutual interest we take in each other's 
performances — all this is delightful. His garden is 
charming even in winter." The diary gives frequent 
evidence of Spohr's devoting his time to Moscheles. 
On the 8th of January he assists him in making his 
concert arrangements. On the following day we 
read : " To-day Hauptmann, Gerke, and others met 
at Spohr's, and there was no end of music. On the 



PUBLICATION OF MOSCHELES " STUDIES. 139 

10th of January with Spohr at Wilhelmshohe, and 
dined at his house. Next day, during the rehearsal 
of my concert, received (to the astonishment of every 
one) an order from the Electoral Prince, intimating 
that my concert must be changed from the Town-hall 
to the Theatre, since the Elector and suite wished to 
attend/'' A letter from Mrs. Moscheles supplements 
these remarks. " This Elector, you must know, has 
not chosen hitherto to attend any concert in the Town- 
hall because there are no boxes there, and as a rule 
refuses the theatre for concerts (he has done so to 
Hummel) ; you see, he honours my husband as much as 
it is in the power of an Elector of Hesse-Cassel to 
do." The success of this concert is recorded in the 
diary, the band under Spohr's leading called (C splendid/' 
and the singing of Wild and Heinefetter highly praised. 
We again quote from the diary : " When we can find 
a quiet hour, it is devoted to my ' Twenty-four 
Studies/ I write the title-page, and prefix some ob- 
servations to each separately, to make the pupil cor- 
rectly understand my intention, each study being 
meant to overcome some special difficulty. My wife 
makes a translation straight off into French and 
English, for Probst publishes the f Studies' for Ger- 
many and Schlesinger for France. In England I 
have stipulated with Cramer and Bcale for a share of 
one-fourth in the profits." 

At the next halting-place — Elbcrfcld — Moscheles 
wanted to escape giving a half-promised concert, but 



140 LIEE OF MOSCHELES. 

the local music-director had already circulated a 
subscription list, and assured Moscheles that the 
public would take no refusal. " At last/'' he writes, 
" I saw that it was a point of honour, and consented. 
The programme will, or should run thus : — Symphony 
by Beethoven, played as well as possible by a set 
of fiddlers calling themselves an orchestra ; my E 
major concerto, played by me with every possible 
precaution, that the band may not lag behind ; Alex- 
ander Variations ; air to be sung^by a soprano, 
supposing such a one to exist ; four-part songs for 
male voices, as a makeshift if the lady is not forth- 
coming ; the whole to conclude with an extempore 
performance, after which. I suppose, they will let me 
depart in peace. The expenses will be deducted from 
the receipts — all clear profits to go to oats and hay 
for the post-horses. Forgive all this nonsense. I 
only want to show you that we are in excellent 

spirits " 

Aix is their next station, and there Mrs. Moscheles 
writes : " On the very day of the Elberfeld concert half 
the streets were under water, so that only some of the 
band came to rehearsal — a fraction of a fraction ! The 
people, however, swam to the evening performance in 
coaches. The room was crammed. Here, in Aix, our 
old friends are so taken up with us, that you must 
forgive me for only sending you a hasty scribble."" 
u I, too," adds Moscheles, " will send my scribble ; if 
only to tell you how pleased I am to think that this 



FUGITIVE PIECES. 141 

tour, if nothing to speak of in the pecuniary way, 
will give me fresh impetus as an artist. Here, where I 
have been so often heard, my subscription list bears 
witness to the eagerness with which my concert is ex- 
pected, and for such honours I gladly forfeit my 
London lessons, but must say I delight in the thought 
of sending you my next letter from our dear little 
home in England." Shortly after his return we find 
him speaking in the highest terms of an Erard piano, 
sent to Bath expressly for him, and in the spring of 
this year he completes his " Fifty Preludes for the 
Piano/'' " Les Charmes de Londres/'' and a second 
rondo for the " Album des Pianistes." He wrote, too, 
at the instance of enterprising publishers, a number of 
fugitive pieces, to suit the fashion of the day. These, 
composed off-hand, were, in his eyes, of such little 
value as not to oe catalogued amongst his regular 
works, but they were of use to him in teaching a 
certain class of pupils which mustered in great force 
this year. " They shrink/' he says, " from all serious 
study. Occasionally a mamma says : ' Will you give 
her something with a pretty tune in it, brilliant, and 
not too difficult V To meet this wish I try to avoid 
full chords and uncommon modulations, but this makes 
me look upon such pieces as spurious bantlings, not 
as the genuine offspring of my Muse." 

Allusions like these to the prevalent taste for easy 
flowing music, account for England's welcoming as a 
pleasing novelty a family consisting of four singers of 



142 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

the name of Rainer (three brothers and a sister), who 
made a pilgrimage from the Zillerthal to London. 
Like almost all artists fresh from the Continent, thev 
had letters of recommendation to Moscheles. He 
arranged for their daily performance in the Egyptian 
Hall, where they sang their exquisite Tyrolese 
melodies, varying the entertainment with their 
national dances. Their freedom from affectation, 
the pure delivery of their characteristic songs, their 
dress — the genuine Tyrolese costume — all these together 
proved very attractive and delightful to a constantly 
increasing crowd of hearers. In spite of the moderate 
entrance-fee, the undertaking answered. More than this 
these Tyrolese folk became the fashion. At the most 
brilliant and fashionable soirees, they relieved with their 
national melodies the songs of the greatest operatic 
singers. King George IV. was so delighted when he 
heard them, that he presented them with new costumes, 
in strict imitation of their own, of which they were 
very proud. These Rainers, who were constant! v 
running in and out of Moscheles' house, either to 
ask his advice, or to tell him of their successes, did 
him quite unexpectedly a great service. There was a 
regular fatality attending the arrangements of his 
annual concert. One singer was hoarse, another was 
unavoidably absent, and all this at the eleventh hour. 
When we consider that the programme still contained 
the names of Caradori, Stockhausen, Galli, and de Beg- 
nis as singers, and that not only De Beriot, but also 



THE RAINERS LISZT. 143 

Cramer and Mosciieles were to play, one would sup- 
pose that the omission of a few vocal pieces would 
do no harm ; but your regular concert-goer is tenacious 
of his rights, and this made Moscheles apply to the 
Rainers. " I hurried off to them. c Can you do me 
the favour to slip away for a little time from your 

soiree at Lady ? Will you sing twice for me ? 

I am in a difficulty/ ' Of course we will/ said the 
whole quartet, unisono. They came and sang, and 
the gaps in the programme were filled up capitally." 

Moscheles, yielding to an importunate music- 
publisher in London, wrote some slight pianoforte 
pieces on the Tyrolese melodies ; but the favoured firm 
was sued by another, whose offer had been rejected, 
and the rival publishers went to law. Moscheles' 
publisher won his suit, and sustained no injury. 

During this season the youthful Liszt was in London ; 
although he appeared often, playing in his magnificent 
bravura style, his concert on the 9th of June was but 
thinly attended. Moscheles thus alludes to the per- 
formance. " The c Concerto in A minor' contains . 
chaotic beauties ; as to his playing, it surpasses in 
power and mastery of difficulties everything I have 
every heard." 

These were busy days for Moscheles, who frequently 
played at two concerts on the same evening. In the 
midst of this cheerful and active life, the news of 
the mighty Beethoven's illness fell upon Moscheles like 
a thunderbolt. His first impressions on receiving the 



144 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

intelligence are thus recorded. " Shocking news from 
Stumpff ! He tells me he has received a letter 
giving details of Beethoven's dangerous state. What 
a fearful misfortune for art, and how disgraceful that 
there should be a question of Beethoven's being pro- 
perly supplied with the necessaries of life ! Such a 
thing seems to me absolutely incredible. I can't bear 
to think of it." 

In the first flush of emotion, Moscheles wrote to his 
old friend, Herr Lewinger, in VienDa, for accurate in- 
formation about Beethoven's health and circumstances, 
but before the arrival of the answer so eagerly looked 
for (the postal communications in those days were 
slow, and in the winter particularly unreliable) the 
following letter from Beethoven to Moscheles came to 
hand : a letter which left no further doubt of the 
great man's unhappy condition. 

"Vienna, 22nd Feb. 1827. 

" My dear Moscheles, — I am convinced you will 
not take it amiss if I trouble you, as well as Sir 
Smart, for whom I enclose a letter, with a petition. 
The matter shortly told is this : — Some years ago the 
Philharmonic Society, in London, made me the hand- 
some offer of arranging a concert for my benefit. At 
that time, thank God, I was not in such a position as 
to be obliged to make use of their generous offer. 
Now, however, I am quite in a different position ; for 
nearly three months I have been laid low by a terribly 



LETTER FROM BEETHOVEN — HIS LAST ILLNESS. 145 

wearisome illness. I am suffering from dropsy. 
Schindler will give you more details in the letter 
which I enclose. You know of old my habit of life. 
You also know how and where I live. As for my 
writing music, I have long ceased to think of it. Un- 
happily, therefore, I may be so placed as to be obliged 
to suffer want. You have not only a wide circle of 
acquaintance in London, but also important influence 
with the Philharmonic Society. I beg you, therefore, 
to use this influence as far as you can, to induce 
the Philharmonic Society to resuscitate their gene- 
rous resolution, and carry it out speedily. I enclose 
a letter to the same effect to Sir Smart, and 
have sent another already to Herr Stumpff. Please 
give the letter to Sir Smart, and unite with him 
and all my friends in London for the furtherance of 
my object. I am so weak, that even the dictation of 
this letter is a difficulty to me. Remember me to 
your amiable wife, and be assured that I shall always 
be your friend, 

a Beethoven. 

a Answer me soon, so that I may hear if I am to 
hope for anything." 

This letter enclosed another of the most distressing 
kind, written by Schindler, Beethoven's friend, who 
nursed him in his illness. 

"Vienna, 22 Feb. 1827. 

" Dearest Friend, — You will see, on reading 

VOL I. L 



146 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

through the letter of our unfortunate friend Beet- 
hoven, that I too propose addressing a few lines to 
you. I have much to write to you about, but will 
confine my remarks solely to Beethoven ; for at 
present his state is to me the all-important subject, 
and one closest to my heart. His letter to you 
contains an expression of his requests and most ardent 
wishes. His letter to Sir Smart is in the same vein, 
as well as an earlier one in my handwriting written 
to Stumpff, the harp-manufacturer. 

" On the occasion of your last visit here, I described 
to you Beethoven's position with regard to money- 
matters, never suspecting that the moment was so near 
when we should see this great man drawing near his 
end, under circumstances so peculiarly painful. We 
may well say ' his end/ for, judging by his present 
state, recovery is out of the question. Although 
we keep the truth from him, he must, I think, have 
his presentiments. It was not before the 3rd of 
December that he and his good-for-nothing nephew 
returned from the country. On his journey hither, 
he was obliged, from stress of weather, to pass the 
night in a small and wretched pot-house, where he 
caught so bad a chill that it brought on an imme- 
diate attack of inflammation of the lungs, and it was 
in this condition that he arrived here. The bad 
symptoms had just yielded to treatment, when dropsy 
of so determined and violent a character set in, that 
Beethoven had to be operated on on the 18th of 



SCHINDLER^ LETTER ON BEETHOVEN^ ILLNESS. 147 

December. His state was such that there was no 
alternative. This operation was followed by a second 
on the 8th of January, and a third on the 20th of the 
same month. Scarcely was the wound allowed to 
heal, when the pressure increased so rapidly that I 
often feared the patient would be suffocated before 
another operation could be effected. It is only now 
that I find him partially relieved, and should he go on 
favourably, we may, I think, allow from eight to ten 
days to elapse before he undergoes a fourth operation. 
" Now, my friend, remembering his impatience, 
and more than all, his quick temper, just picture to 
yourself Beethoven in such a fearful illness. Think 
of him, too, brought to this sad state by that wretched 
creature, his nephew, and partly, too, by his own 
brother; for both doctors, Malfatti and Professor 
Wawruch, declare that the good man's illness arises 
in part from the fearful anxieties of mind to which 
his nephew had for a long time subjected him, and 
that the disease had been aggravated by Beethoven's 
staying too long in the country during the wet season. 
This could not well be helped, for by order of the police 
the young man was obliged to quit Vienna, and 
it was not easy to get a commission for him in any 
regiment. He is now cadet to the Archduke Ludwig, 
and treats his uncle just as he always did, although 
living entirely on him, as in former days. A fortnight 
ago Beethoven sent him the letter to Sir Smart, 
to translate into English; we have had no answer 



148 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

at all yet, although he is at Iglau, only a few stations 
from here. 

" Should you, my dear Moscheles, succeed jointly 
with Sir Smart in inducing the Philharmonic Society 
to comply with Beethoven's wishes, you would certainly 
be doing an act of the greatest kindness. The expenses 
of this tedious illness are unusually great ; so much so 
that the apprehension of being impoverished, and in 
want, troubles Beethoven night and day, for he would 
die rather than be forced to accept anything from his 
odious brother. 

C( Judging by the present symptoms, dropsy will 
turn to consumption, for he is now worn to a skeleton, 
and yet his constitution will enable him to struggle 
for a long time against this painful death. 

" It pains him still more to find that not a soul 
here takes any notice of him, and certainly this lack 
of sympathy is most surprising. In former times, if 
he was slightly indisposed, people used to drive up to 
his door, and inquire for him. Now he is completely 
forgotten, as though he had never lived in Vienna. 
Mine is the greatest trouble, and I sincerely hope 
matters may speedily change in one way or another, 
for I lose all my time, I alone having to do everything 
for him, because he will not allow any one else to come 
near him, and it would be inhuman to forsake him in 
his absolutely helpless condition. 

" Just now he speaks frequently about a journey to 
London after his recovery, and is calculating on the 



SCHINDLER' S LETTER ON BEETHOVEN^ ILLNESS. 149 

cheapest way we can live during our absence from 
home. Merciful Heaven ! I fear his journey will 
be a further one than to England. His amusement, 
when he is alone, consists in reading the old Greek 
classics, and several of W. Scott's novels, which delight 
Jiim. 

" If you, my dear friend, feel certain that the Phil- 
harmonic Society will carry out the project which they 
started years ago, pray don't omit to let Beethoven 
know at once ; it would put life into him. Try to 
persuade Sir Smart to write to him as well, so that he 
may receive a double assurance of the good tidings. 
May God be with you ! Give my kindest regards to 
your excellent wife, with the highest esteem, 
" Your most devoted friend, 

"Ant. Schindler. 

" P.S. — If the Concert proposed by the Philharmonic 
Society for Beethoven's benefit comes off, the com- 
mittee should most distinctly give Beethoven to 
understand that the money must be appropriated to 
his own wants, and not to that of his most unnatural 
relatives, least of all to his ungrateful nephew. This 
would be a most beneficial plan ; if it is not carried 
out, Beethoven will give the money to his nephew, 
who will merely squauder it, whilst he himself suffers 
want." 

" Sick — in necessity — abandoned — a Beethoven !" 
exclaims Moscheles. The excitement in the house 



150 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

was intense. Moscheles hurried off to Smart, and 
their first impulse was to send the great man 20/., 
thus enabling him to procure small comforts, and to 
show him that a Beethoven should never be allowed 
to feel want. It occurred, however, in time to 
Moscheles that the 20/. would probably be looked on. 
by Beethoven as a kind of alms, that he might not 
only be offended, but probably enraged ; so, abandon- 
ing the idea of sending the money, they applied 
without delay to the leading members of the Philhar- 
monic Society. These gentlemen, equally shocked 
and as eager to help as Smart and Moscheles, reason- 
ably asked for a short delay, so as to call together 
the members of their society, and to take counsel as 
to the ways and means of helping Beethoven. Mean- 
time Beethoven's second letter, with an enclosure of 
Schindlers, arrived. They run thus : — 

"Vienna, 14th March, 1827. 

" My dear good Moscheles, — I have lately heard, 
through Herr Lewinger, that in a letter of the 10th 
of February, you asked for information on the 
subject of my illness, about which people spread 
such various rumours. Although I feel no kind 
of doubt that you duly received my first letter 
of the 22nd of February, which will explain to you 
everything you want to know, still I cannot help 
thanking you heartily for your sympathy with my 
sad condition, and entreating you once more to 



Beethoven's letter. 151 

take to heart the request made in my first letter. I 
anticipate with something like assurance that you, 
acting jointly with Sir Smart, Herr StumpfF, Mr. 
Neate, and others of my friends, are certain to succeed 
in obtaining a favourable result for me from the Phil- 
harmonic Society. Since then, happening by chance 
to find Sir Smart's address, I have written again to 
him, pressing my request very earnestly. 

" On the 27th of February I was operated on for 
the fourth time, and now the return of certain symp- 
toms makes it plain that soon I must expect a fifth 
operation. What will come of it ? What will be- 
come of me, if this state of things continues ? Truly 
my lot is a very hard one, but I bow to the decree of 
fate, and only pray to God constantly that, in His 
holy wisdom, He may so dispose of me that, however 
long I must suffer death in life, I may still be 
shielded from want. This conviction would fortify 
me to bear my lot, however hard and terrible it may 
be, with resignation to the will of the Most High. 
So, my dear Moscheles, once more I commend my 
cause to your care, and remain always with the 
greatest esteem, 

" Your friend, 

u Beethoven. 

" Hummel is here, and has paid me several visits 
already." 

Schindlcr's letter was as follows — 



152 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

" My dearest Friend, — I add a scrap to Beethoven's 
letter, from which you can gather information about 
his present state. Thus much is certain that he is 
nearer death than recovery, for his whole frame is 
wasting away. Still matters may go on thus for 
many months, for his lungs even now seem made of 
steel. 

" In the event of the Philharmonic Society granting 
Beethoven's request, pray contrive that the money 
shall be lodged with some safe person — i.e., a banker — 
on whom Beethoven could draw by instalments. The 
Philharmonic Society might unreservedly explain to 
Beethoven that they adopt these means solely for his 
benefit, as they know but too well that the relatives 
who are around him do not act honestly by him, &c. 
He is sure to be startled by this announcement, but I 
and others in whom he confides, will make him 
thoroughly understand that such a line of conduct 
is meant in real kindness, and he will be satisfied. In 
any case, whatever property he leaves behind will 
come into the hands of the most unworthy people, 
and it were better it was left to the House of 
Correction. 

" Hummel and his wife are here. He travelled as 
fast as he could, with the hope of finding Beethoven 
still alive, for it was commonly reported in Germany 
that he was in extremis. The meeting of these two 
men last Thursday was a truly affecting sight. I had 
previously warned Hummel to betray no emotion at 



THE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY AND BEETHOVEN. 153 

the interview with Beethoven, but kp was so over- 
powered at the sight that, in spite of all his 
struggles, he could not help bursting into tears. 
Old Streicher came to the rescue. The first thing 
that Beethoven said to Hummel was, ' Look here, 
my dear Hummel, here is a picture of the house 
where Haydn was born ; it was made a present to me 
to-day. I take a childish pleasure in it — to think of 
so great a man being born in so wretched a hovel V 

" As I looked on these two men, who never were 
the best of friends, they seemed to forget all the diffe- 
rences and quarrels of their past lives in this most 
affectionate conversation. They have both appointed 
to meet next summer in Carlsbad. Alas ! alas ! 
My heartiest remembrance to your amiable wife, and 
now, adieu ! 

" Your constant and sincere friend, 

" Ant. Schindler." 

Meantime the Philharmonic Society had determined 
on and carried out a scheme that must of necessity be 
advantageous to poor Beethoven. It was resolved 
unanimously at a meeting, which Moschelcs attended 
as a member, that Beethoven should not be kept wait- 
ing until a concert could be arranged. The season of 
the year was unfavourable, and a concert in a great 
city like London involves a delay of from four to six 
weeks for preparation. They desired, therefore, to hand 
him over at once, through Moschelcs, 100/. ; but, to 



154 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

spare his sensitive feelings, resolved to suggest that 

the money was merely in anticipation of the proceeds 

of a concert already in preparation. The following 

letter from Rau (one of Moscheles' oldest Viennese 

friends) proves that the money was sent and reached 

Vienna without delay. 

«'Vienna, 17th March, 1827. 

" Dear Friend, — After a very severe attack of 
inflammation of the eyes, which kept me closely confined 
to my room for three weeks, I am, thank God, once 
more so far recovered that I can take up my pen, 
although writing is an effort. Make a guess at any- 
thing you can't read, and don't be hard on me where 
you find me illegible. 

" Your letter, with the 100/. sent to Beethoven, 
came safely to hand. It gave me great and un- 
expected pleasure. The great man, whom all Europe 
justly delights to honour, the noble-hearted Beethoven, 
lies here in Vienna on his bed of sickness. He is in 
dire distress, and although alive, still in imminent 
danger, and this news we must receive from London ! 
There it is that his high-minded friends eagerly try to 
soothe his affliction, alleviate his wants, and save him 
from despair.* 

* On the margin of the original letter we find the following remark 
in Moscheles' handwriting : — " I have, however, several proof s of the 
interest and sympathy called forth in Vienna at that time by 
Beethoven's dangerous illness. It is clear that several of his wor- 
shippers were eager to offer him help and consolation, if they could 
only get at him. Access to Beethoven, or those nearest to him, owing 
to his life of isolation, was, however, a difficult matter." 



RAü's LETTER ON BEETHOVEN. 155 

" I drove off at once to his house, that I might 
satisfy myself about his condition, and inform him of 
the help at hand. It was heart-breaking to see him 
clasp his hands and shed tears of joy and gratitude. 
You, his noble-hearted benefactors, would have been 
rewarded and delighted to witness a scene so deeply 
touching. 

" I found poor Beethoven in the most wretched 
condition, more like a skeleton than a living being. 
He was in the last stage of dropsy, and it has been 
necessary to tap him four or five times. His medical 
attendant is Doctor Malfatti, so he is in excellent 
hands, but Malfatti gives him little hope. It is 
impossible to say for certain how long his present state 
will continue, or if recovery may yet be possible ; but 
the recent news of the help afforded him has worked 
a remarkable change. The emotion of joy was so 
excessive as to rupture, in the course of the night, one 
of the punctured wounds that had cicatrized over ; the 
water which had accumulated for fourteen days flowed 
away in streams. I found him on my visit next day 
remarkably cheerful, and feeling a wonderful sense of 
relief. I hurried off to Malfatti to tell him of this 
occurrence, which he considers a very favourable one. 
They intend to apply a hollow probe for some time, so 
as to keep this wound open, and allow the water to 
escape freely. May God bless these human means ! 

" Beethoven is satisfied with the attendance and 
services of his cook and housemaid. I lis and our friend, 



156 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

the well-known and worthy Schindler, dines daily with 
him, and manages for him in a very friendly, honest way. 
He also looks after Beethoven's correspondence, and 
controls as far as possible the expenditure of the 
household. I enclose in my letter, dear friend, 
Beethoven's receipt for the 1000 florins presented 
to him. When I proposed to him to take only 500 
florins at first, and leave the remaining 500 in the 
safe custody of Baron von Eskeles, until he wanted 
them, he confessed candidly to me that the 1000 
florins came to him like a perfect godsend, for he was 
actually in the painful condition of being forced to 
borrow money. This being so, I yielded to his earnest 
entreaty, and handed him over the whole sum of 100/., 
or 1000 florins. 

" Beethoven will tell you in his own letter how he 
intends to show his gratitude to the Philharmonic 
Society. If, in the course of events, yon wish to be 
useful to him, and I can give you a helping hand, you 
may rely upon my hearty and zealous co-operation. 
The whole of the Eskeles family desire their kindest 
remembrance to you, your wife and little son, and in 
these I join. 

" Your sincere friend, 

" Bau." 

It is plain, from Moscheles' observation on the mar- 
gin of Ban's letter, and from notes in the diary, that he 
had written to many friends at Vienna asking whether 



Beethoven's last letter. 157 

it could be true that people neglected Beethoven, 
prostrated by sickness, and in want, and that he re- 
ceived, in every instance, the information that, owing 
to Beethoven's repelling manner, and his brother's and 
nephew's jealousy, friends had been kept back from 
visiting him. " I doubt if they could have prevented 
me," says Moscheles, and probably with good cause. 

A very affecting letter from Beethoven himself, and 
one over which many tears were shed, followed that of 
his friend Rau. It was written on the 17th of March. 
Beethoven dictated it to Schindler, and signed it with 
his own hand. 

"Vienna, 1 8th March, 1 827. 

"My dear good Moscheles, — The feelings with 
which I read your letter of the 1st of March, I 
cannot describe in words. The splendid generosity of 
the Philharmonic Society, which well nigh anticipated 
my request, has moved me to my inmost soul. I entreat 
you, therefore, dear Moscheles, to be my spokesman 
and communicate to the Philharmonic Society, my 
earnest, heartfelt thanks for the sympathy and assis- 
tance they have rendered me. I was compelled at once 
to call in the whole sum of 1000 florins, as I was 
just reduced to the painful necessity of being obliged 
to borrow money, and thus becoming further involved. 
With regard to the concert, which the Philharmonic 
Society have determined to give for my benefit, let mo 
beg of them not to abandon their generous project, 
but to deduct from the gross receipts of that concert, 



158 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

the 1000 florins now presented to me in advance. 
Should the Society kindly allow me the surplus, I 
undertake to prove my deep gratitude, either by 
writing for them a new symphony, the sketch of 
which already lies in my desk, or a new overture, or 
something else that the Society may wish for. May 
Heaven only soon restore me to health, and I will 
prove to the noble-hearted English how highly I appre- 
ciate their sympathy with my sad fate. I shall never 
forget your noble conduct, and hope soon to send a 
special letter of thanks to Sir Smart and to Herr 
Stumpff. Farewell, with sentiments of true friend- 
ship, I remain, with the greatest esteem, 
" Your friend, 

" Ludwig van Beethoven. 

" P.S. — My hearty greeting to your wife. I have to 
thank the Philharmonic Society and you for a new 
friend in Herr Hau. Pray give to the Philharmonic 
Society the symphony marked by me with the 
metronome tempi; these I enclose/'' 

Marking, according to the metronome of the Tempi 
in Beethoven's last symphony, op. 125 : — 

Allegro, ma non troppo, e unpoco maestoso 88 == f 

Molto vivace . . . . . 116 = P 

i 

Presto ...... 116 = P 

i 

Adagio molto e cantabile . . . 60 = f 



METRONOME OF BEETHOVEN^ LAST SYMPHONY. 159 



Andante moderato . 
Finale presto . 
Allegro, ma non troppo 
Allegro assai . 
Alia marcia 
Andante maestoso 
Adagio divoto . 
Allegro energico 
Allegro, ma non tanto 
Prestissimo 
Maestoso 



63 = | 

96 = P 

i 

88 = f 

80 = P 

i 

84 = f 
72 = P 

60 = P 

I 

84 = P 

i 

120 = P 

i 

132 = P 

I 

60 = f 



"We give a letter by Schindler, six days later in 
point of date, but posted at the same time as Beet- 
hoven's : — 

"Vienna, 24th March, 1827. 

" My dear Friend, — Don't let yourself be mis- 
led by the difference of date between the two letters. 
I wished purposely to keep back that of Beethoven 
for a few days, because, on the day after it was written, 
we feared our great master would breathe his last. 
God be thanked, however, that event has not yet 
happened ; but, my dear Moscheles, by the time you 
read these lines, our friend will be no longer amongst 
the living. Death is advancing with rapid strides, 
and there is but one wish amongst us all, to see 
him soon released from these terrible sufferings ; 
nothing else remains to be hoped for. He has been 
lying all but dead, for the last eight days, and can 



1(30 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

only now and then muster sufficient strength to 
put a question, or to ask for what he wants. His 
condition is fearful, and appears by all accounts to 
be very similar to that which was lately endured by 
the Duke of York. He is in an almost constant state 
of insensibility, or rather stupor — his head hanging 
down on his chest, and his glazed eyes fixed for hours 
together upon the same spot. He seldom recognises 
his most intimate friends, except when people tell him 
who is standing before him. In fact, it is dreadful to 
look at him. This state of things, however, can only 
last a few days longer, for all the bodily functions 
have ceased since yesterday. He, and we with him, 
will therefore, please God, soon be released. 

" People come in shoals to see him for the last time, 
although none are admitted except those who are bold 
enough to force their way into the dying man's room. 
The letter to you, even to the few sentences at the 
introduction, is, word for word, written at his dictation. 
I expect this will be his last letter, although to-day 
he contrived to whisper to me in broken accents, 
' Smart, Stumpff, write -' if possible for him even yet 
to sign his name on the paper, it shall be done. He 
feels his end approaching, for yesterday he said to me 
and Herr von Breuning, ' Plaudite, amici, comoedia 
finita est V We were fortunate enough yesterday to 
arrange everything respecting his last will, although 
there is hardly anything left but some old furniture 
and manuscripts. He had in hand a quintet for 



Beethoven's last hours. 161 

stringed instruments, and the tenth symphony, of 
which he makes mention in his letter to you. Two 
movements of the quintet are entirely finished, and it 
was intended for Diabelli. The day after the receipt 
of your letter he was greatly excited, and talked to 
me a great deal of the plan of the symphony, which 
was to have been on a grand scale, as being written 
expressly for the Philharmonic Society. 

" I much wish you had made it plain in your letter 
that Beethoven could only draw on this sum of 1000 
florins by instalments, for I had agreed with Herr Rau 
on this matter, but Beethoven adhered to the last 
sentence in your letter. Well, with the receipt of the 
money all trouble and anxiety at once vanished, and 
he said quite cheerfully, f Now we shall be able to 
give ourselves a better day occasionally/ for there 
were only 340 florins left in the drawer, and we 
therefore restricted ourselves for some time past, to 
beef and vegetables, a privation which grieved him 
more than anything else. The next day being a 
Friday, he immediately ordered his favourite dish of 
fish, but could merely taste them. In short, his de- 
light with the generosity of the Philharmonic Society 
borders upon the childish. We were obliged to pro- 
cure him a great arm-chair, which cost fifty florins ; 
he rests on it daily for half-an-hour at least whilst 
his bed is being made. His obstinacy is ;is dreadful 
as ever, and this falls particularly hard upon me, for 
on no account will he have anybody about him but 

VOL. I. M 



162 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

myself. I had no alternative but to give up all my 
lessons, and devote to him every spare moment of 
time I could get. Everything he eats or drinks I 
must taste first, to ascertain whether it might not be 
injurious to him. Glad as I am to do all this, it 
lasts too long for a poor devil like myself. I 
hope to heaven, however, matters will right themselves 
if I continue to keep in good health. Whatever re- 
mains of the 1000 florins we intend to expend on 
our friend Beethoven's funeral, which will be per- 
formed without much ceremony in the churchyard at 
Döbling, a constant and favourite haunt of Beethoven's. 
There is the rent due on the 13th of April, that must 
be paid for another half-year. Then there are several 
small debts (the doctor's fees amongst them), so that 
the 1000 florins may just cover what is owing, without 
leaving much balance in hand. 

" Two days after your letter we received one from 
the worthy Mr. StumpfF, who speaks of you in terms 
of the highest praise. The reading of this letter 
excited Beethoven rather too much, for he was fear- 
fully reduced and weakened. We heard him to-day 
say repeatedly, ' May God requite them all a thousand 
times/ 

" You can well understand that the generosity of the 
Philharmonic Society has created a general sensation 
here. The English are praised up to the skies, 
and the Viennese millionaires loudly abused. The 
Beobachter has an article on the subject, and so 



Beethoven's death. 163 

has the Wiener Zeitung. I enclose them. — (Interval 
of some hours.) — I have just left Beethoven : he is 
actually dying, and before this letter is beyond the 
precincts of the city the great light will be extin- 
guished for ever. He is still, however, in full posses- 
sion of his senses. I hasten to despatch my letter, 
in order to run to his bedside. The enclosed lock 
of hair I have just cut from his head, and send it 
you. God be with you ! 

" Your most devoted Friend, 

"Ant. Schindler." 

A few days later a letter from Rau brought the sad 
tidings of Beethoven's death. 

"Vienna, March 28th, 1827. 

" Dear Friend, — Beethoven is no more ; he expired 
on the evening of the 26th of March, between five 
and six o'clock, after a painful struggle and terrible 
suffering. On the day before he died all consciousness 
had completely gone. 

"I must say a word about the property he has left 
behind him. In my last letter I told you that Beet- 
hoven, according to his own statement, was absolutely 
without money or resources, consequently in the 
greatest need, and yet, when an inventory of his- 
things was taken in my presence, we found, in an old 
half-mouldy box, seven Bank shares. 

" Whether Beethoven purposely concealed them (for 

m 2 



164 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

he was very mistrustful, and looked hopefully for a 
speedy recovery), or whether their possession had es- 
caped his own memory, is a problem I cannot venture 
to solve. The thousand florins sent over by the 
Philharmonic Society were found still untouched ; 
I laid claim to the money in conformity with your 
instructions, and Was obliged to deposit it with the 
magistrate until further notice from the Philharmonic 
Society. I would not consent to the funeral expenses 
being paid out of this money without being authorized 
by the Society so to act. Should you have it in your 
power to dispose of any part of the money, pray let 
it be done in favour of the two poor servants who 
nursed the sufferer with endless patience and devotion. 
There is not a syllable about them in the will. Every- 
thing goes to the sole heir, Beethoven's nephew. As 
to the present which Beethoven intended sending to 
the Philharmonic Societv, Herr Schindler will com- 
municate with you in due time. Let me know soon, 
and definitely, what steps I am to take, and you may 
rely on me for strictly carrying out your intentions. 
Beethoven will be buried on the 29th of this month. 
An invitation has been sent to all artists, members of 
the different orchestras, and theatres. Twenty mu- 
sicians and composers will act as torchbearers at the 
funeral. Grillparzer has written a very affecting ad- 
dress to be spoken by Anschütz at the grave. Indeed 
everything which can be done to render the solemnity 
worthy of the deceased, seems to be in preparation. 



INVITATION TO BEETHOVEN'S FUNERAL. 165 

" The family of Eskeles joins me in kindest remem- 
brances to you and yours. 

" Your friend, 

" Hau." 

We find amongst Moscheles' papers several relating 
to Beethoven's death : 



INVITATION 

TO 

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN'S FUNERAL, 

Which will take place on the 29th March, at 3 o'clock 
in the afternoon. 



The company will assemble at the lodgings of the deceased, 
in the Schwarz-spanier House, No. 200 on the Glacis, before the 
Schottenthor. 

The procession starts from that point to the Trinity Church, 
at the Father's Minorites in the Alser Street. 



The musical world sustained the irreparable loss of the 
famous composer about six o'clock in the evening on the 2Gth 
March, 1827. 

Beethoven died of dropsy, in the 50th year of his age, after 
receiving the Holy Sacraments. 

Due notice of the day, " der Exequien," will hereafter be 
made known by L. van Beethoven's 

ADMIRERS AND FRIENDS. 

(The distribution of these cards is at the music establishment 
of Tob. Haslinger. ) 



166 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 



BEY LUDWIG VAX BEETHOVEX'S LEICHEXBEGAX'GXISS 

(am 29 März 1827). 
Von J. F. Castelli. 

Achtung allen Thränen, welche fliessen, 
"Wenn ein braver Mann zu Grabe ging, 

Wenn die Freunde Trauerreihen schliessen, 
Die der Selige mit Lieb' umfing. 

Doch der Trauerzug, der heute wallet, 
Strecket sich, so weit das Himmelszelt 

Erd' umspannt, so weit ein Ton erschallet, 
Und um diesen Todten weint die Welt. 

Doch um Euch allein nur müsst Ihr klagen ! — 

Wer so hoch im Heiligthume stand, 
Kanu den Staub nicht mehr — er ihn nicht tragen , 

Und der Geist sehut sich in's Heimathland. 

Darum rief die Muse ihn nach oben, 

Und an ihrer Seite sitzt er dort, 
Und an ihrem Throne hört er droben 

Tönen seinen eigenen Accord. 

Aber hier sein Angedenken weilet, 
Und sein Xame lebt im Ruhmes -Licht, 

Wer, wie er, der Zeit ist vorgeeilet, 
Den ereilt die Zeit zerstörend nicht. 

AT BEETHOVEX'S FUNERAL. 

Ev'ry tear that is shed by the mourner is holy ; 

When the dust of the mighty to earth is resigned, 
When those he held dearest move sadly and slowly 

To the grave of the friend in whose heart they were shrined : — 

But our grief -stricken train is a wild sea that surges, 

That spreads to yon starry pavilion o'erhead 
And girdles the globe : for all nature sings dirges, 

Where'er rings an echo, to-day o'er the dead. 

But weep not for him : for yourselves sorrow only : 
Though proud was his place in the hierarchy here, 

This earth might not hold him ; his spirit was lonely, 
And yearned for a home in a loftier sphere. 

So Heaven to the minstrel its portals uncloses : 

The Muse thither calls him, to sit by her side 
And hear, from the throne where in bliss she reposes, 

His own hallow'd harmonies float far and wide. 



poems on Beethoven's death. 167 



Yet here, in our memories homed, he abideth ; 

Round his name lives a glory that ne'er may grow dim ; 
Time fain would o'ertake him, but Time he derideth ; 

The grisly Destroyer is distanced by him. 



AM GRABE BEETHOVEN'S 
(den 29 März 1827). 

Es brach ein Quell vom hohen Felsen nieder, 
Mit reicher Strömung über Wald und Flur, 

Und wo er floss, erstand das Leben wieder, 
Verjüngte sich die alternde Natur. 

Ein jeder kam zur reitzgeschmückten Stelle, 
Und suchte sich Erquickuug an der Welle. 

Nur wenige von richtigem Gefühle, 
Empfanden seine Wunderkräfte ganz, 

Die übrigen erfreuten sich am Spiele 

Der schönen Fluth und ihrem Demantglanz : 

Die meisten aber fanden sein Gewässer 

Dem Andern gleich, nicht edler und nicht besser. 



Der Quell versank. Nun erst erkannte Jeder 
Des Bornes Kraft, nun erst, da sie zerstob ! 

Und Pinsel, Klang, der Meissel und die Feder, 
Vereinten sich zum längst verdienten Lob ; 

Jedoch kein Lied, nicht Sehnsucht, nicht die Klage 
Erweckten ihn und brachten ihn zu Tage. 



Du, der hier liegt, befreyt von .Schmerz und Banden, 
Du warst der Quell, den ich zuvor genannt ! 

Du grosser Mensch, von Wenigen verstanden, 
Bewundert oft, doch öfter noch verkannt ! 

Jetzt werden Alle jubelnd Dich erheben : 
Du musstest sterben, sterben, um zu leben ! 

SCHLECHTA. 

AT BEETHOVEN'S GRAVE. 

?rom the high rock I marked a fountain breaking ; 

It poured its riches forth o'er glade and plain ; 
Vhere'er they streamed I saw new life awaking, 

The grandam world was in her prime again ; 
?0 the charm' d spot the tribes of earth eaine thronging, 
Vnd stoopt to that pure wave with eager longing. 



168 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 



Yet of these hosts few only, keener- sighted 
Than were their fellows, all its glamour knew : 

The simple multitude surveyed, delighted, 
Its diamond glitter and its changing hue ; 

But — save unto those few that saw more clearly — 

That wondrous fountain was a fountain merely. 

At last its source dried up, its torrent dwindled ; 

And all mankind discerned its virtue then : 
In minstrels' breasts and bards' a tire was kindled» 

And brush and chisel vied with harp and pen : 
But wild desire, and minstrelsy, and wailing 
To call it back to life were unavailing. 



Thou who sleep'st here, thy toil, thy bondage ended I 
Lo ! in that fountain's tale is told thine own. 

Marvelled at oft, more oft misapprehended, 
By the few only thou wast truly known. 

All shall exalt thee, now that low thou liest ; 

That thou mayst live, deathless one, thou diest. 

The following letters from Schindler, Rax, and 
others, although giving some further details about Beet- 
hoven's death, turn chiefly on the subject of the 100/. 
presented by the Philharmonic Society, a matte* which 
gave rise to all sorts of discussion, without coning to 
any really satisfactory conclusion. Schindler wites : — 

" Vienna, April 4fii, 1827. 

" My dear Friend, — I find myself induced to 
write to you once more, and thus to insure tjie safety 
of the letter I enclose for Sir Smart. It (contains 
Beethoven's last expression of thanks to SmartjStumpfF, 
the Philharmonic Society, and to the whole English 
nation. Beethoven, during the last monents of 
his life, urged me most earnestly to carry out his 
wishes about this letter. Let me entreat y)u, there 
fore, to give Sir Smart the letter as soon as (possible ; 



Beethoven's funeral. 169 

Mr. Lewisey, of the English Embassy, has had the 
kindness to translate it into English. 

" On the 26th of March, at a quarter to six 
o'clock in the evening, during a heavy thunderstorm, 
our immortal friend breathed his last. From the evening 
of the 21th until he died, he was almost constantly in 
a delirious state ; but whenever he had a moment of 
relief, he remembered the kindness shown him by the 
Philharmonic Society, and praised the constant friendli- 
ness of the English nation. 

" His sufferings are not to be described, especially 
from the moment when the wound gave way, occasion- 
ing a fearful drain on the system. His deathbed was 
remarkable for the magnanimity and Socratic wisdom 
with which he prepared to meet his doom. I shall 
probably publish an account of his death ; it would be 
of rare value to his biographers. 

" Beethoven's funeral was, as in justice it should be, 
that of a great man. Some 30,000 persons crowded on 
the glacis, and surged through the streets where the 
procession was to pass. I cannot describe the scene. If 
you remember the fete in the Prater, on the occasion 
of the Congress in the year 1814, you will have some 
idea of it. Eight Kapellmeisters were pall-bcaicrs, 
amongst them Eiblcr, Weigl, Gyrowctz, Hummel, 
Seyfricd, &c. There were six-ami- thirty torchbearers, 
amongst them Grillparzer, Castclli, Haslingcr, Steiner, 
Schubert, &c. 

" Yesterday Mozart's Requiem was performed as a 



170 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

commemorative service in the St. Augustine Church. 
The church, although a large one, could not contain 
the crowd that thronged there. Lablache sang the 
bass part. The leading publishers of Vienna sug- 
gested this service. 

" You have Beethoven's last letter, that of the 18th 
of March, and Schott in Mainz has his last signature. 

" With regard to his personalty, seven Bank shares, 
and several hundred gulden have been found, and 
now the Viennese talk and write about Beethoven's 
having had no need of aid from a foreign nation, &c, 
without reflecting that Beethoven, old and powerless at 
the age of 56, could make the same claims as if he had 
been a man of 70. If he had ceased working for 
years, as the doctors told him he must, he would cer- 
tainly have been forced to sell one share after the 
other, and for how many years, think you, could 
he have lived on the proceeds of these shares, with- 
out falling into the greatest distress ? In short, dear 
friend, I and Herr Hofrath von Breuning beg of you 
earnestly, in the event of such monstrous reports 
reaching England, to appease the manes of Beethoven, 
by publishing in one of the most largely circulated 
German newspapers, such as the Augsburger All- 
gemeine Zeitung, the letters that you have of 
Beethoven's upon the subject; the Philharmonic Society 
might do this on its own account, and thus silence 
these scribblers at once. 

"The Philharmonic Society has the honour of 



THE SEXTON OF WÄHRING. 171 

having defrayed the expenses of the great man's 
funeral ; without their help, this certainly could not 
have been done in a suitable manner. 

" The universal cry was, { What a shame for Austria ! 
This mustn't go further, for everybody will contribute 
his share V but with this outcry the matter ended. 
The Musik- Verein determined, the dav after the 
funeral, to have a Requiem performed in Beethoven's 
memory, and that was all. But we people of the 
Kärntnerthor, intend to get up a grand concert in 
April, and raise a sum for a handsome monument. 

" I have further to inform you that the sexton of 
Währing, where Beethoven lies buried, was with us 
yesterday, and showed us a letter in which he was 
offered 1000 florins if he would deposit Beethoven's 
head at a certain spot. This stirred the police to 
active inquiries. The funeral cost a trifle over 300 
florins ; our friend Rau will have written to you 
about it. Should the Philharmonic Society wish 
to leave the rest of the money here, allowing me, 
for instance, to appropriate a small sum to my own use. 
I should regard it as a legacy from my friend Beethoven. 
I don't possess the smallest trifle to remind me of him, 
and in this respect I fare the same as others, for his 
death was a surprise to him and to all of us around 
him. 

" Do write me a few lines, and say if you have 
received the letters of the 22nd February, the 14th 
and the 18th of March ; and let me know, too, if Sir 



172 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

Smart has also had his. Beethoven's relations, when his 
death was imminent, behaved in the meanest way ; he 
was still breathing when his brother came and wanted 
to carry off everything, even the 1000 florins sent 
from London, but we turned him out of doors. Such 
were the scenes enacted by the side of Beethoven's 
deathbed. Call the attention of the Philharmonic 
Society to the gold medal of Louis XVIII. ; it weighs 
50 ducats, and would be a noble reminder of that 
great man. — Adieu. 

"A. Schindler. 
" Hummel plays to-morrow in the Kärntnerthor 
Theatre. Mr. Lewisey begs to be remembered to Mr. 
Neate." 

Another letter was received from Schindler shortly 
afterwards : — 

" Vienna, April 11th, 1827. 

" My dear Frtend, — You will be shocked at the 
quantity and length of my letters, but read and believe 
if you can ! To save your honour, that of our friend 
Beethoven, and of the Philharmonic Society, there was 
nothing left to us, but to put you in possession of every 
detail. You heard in my last letter, that there is a 
great deal of talk as well as public comment on the 
generous conduct of the Society. But the Allgemeine 
Zeitung contains an article of the most offensive 
character to every one, so much so, that we have 
thought it our duty to answer it through Hofrath 



COMMENTS ON THE VIENNESE, 173 

Breuning, who undertook to write the enclosed truthful 
account, which Pilat will send this very day to the 
editor of the Allgemeine Zeitung. Although you 
have never seen the original article in the Allgemeine 
Zeitung y on reading our answer you will at once 
guess its object and general purport. What you and 
Smart have further to do, is to publish in the Allge- 
meine Zeitung your letters as well, so that these 
wretched scribblers may be thoroughly humiliated. Rau 
and Pilat think our article too courteous, but neither 
Breuning nor I dare come out with the whole truth, 
although we should like to do so, and think the disclo- 
sure due to the world. Apart from the fact of my having 
already, as Beethoven's friend and champion, made 
myself many enemies, I think it would be base con- 
duct, were I to remain silent when his memory is 
slandered, now that he is dead and buried, and his 
well-intentioned friends are publicly attacked, and their 
generous efforts misinterpreted. 

" I wrote to you lately that the Philharmonic 
Society should enter the lists by publishing in its 
own name the letters to yourself and Smart; we are 
all of this opinion. The Philharmonic Society should 
state what is perfectly well known in London, that 
Beethoven, after his first concert in the Kärntnerthor 
Theatre, two years ago, after deducting all expenses, 
which came to 1000 florins, and paying the managers 
for the hire of the theatre, had only 300 florins of 
clear profit, not a single subscriber paying a farthing 



174 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

for his box; not even did the Court appear at the 
concert, although Beethoven, by my advice, gave a 
personal invitation to every member of the Imperial 
household. Every one promised to come, and not 
only in every instance failed to redeem that promise, 
but never sent Beethoven the smallest contribution, a 
present of some sort being the invariable rule, even at 
the benefits of ordinary concert-givers. 

" At his second concert, given at the Redoutensaal, 
in the same month, the committee, who undertook the 
management on their own account, were obliged to 
pay 300 florins out of their own pockets ; and I had 
the greatest difficulty in preventing Beethoven from 
making up the deficit out of the 500 florins guaranteed 
to him for his services on the occasion. It gave him 
the greatest pain to feel that the committee lost money 
on his account. 

" When the subscription was started for his last 
Grand Mass, not a soul at Vienna, no, not even the 
Court, would subscribe, and there were other countless 
insults and humiliations that poor Beethoven was 
obliged to endure. Now is the best opportunity of 
making all these things known. All Vienna knew that 
Beethoven had been lying on a sick-bed for two or three 
months, and no one took the trouble to inquire into his 
state of health and circumstances. With such sad ex- 
periences of Vienna, could he be expected to look for 
help here ? I declare to Heaven that had not the 
Philharmonic Society, by its generosity, aroused the 



Beethoven's medical advisers. 175 

Viennese from their inaction, Beethoven would have 
died and been buried like Haydn, who was followed 
to the grave by fifteen persons. 

" As to the concert to be given by the collected 
forces of our theatre for raising a monument, matters 
stand thus : ' Norma/ which was to have been given 
after Easter, has been fixed for this week, so we lose our 
evening by this extra opera night. An afternoon 
concert Weigl thinks unfavourably of, and proposes 
its postponement until next autumn. But by that 
time, what little zeal there is will have completely 
cooled, and no one will think of doing anything more 
in the matter. 

" I cannot help telling you about the conduct of the 
medical men. At the very beginning of his illness, 
Beethoven asked the doctors he had formerly con- 
sulted to attend him. Dr. Braunhofer excused him- 
self on the plea of his being too far from the house. 
Dr. Staudenheim, after three days' solicitation, came 
at last, and retired after one professional visit. The 
consequence of this was that Beethoven had to trust 
himself to the care of a professor in the general 
hospital, whose services he obtained in a very singular 
way. Gehringcr, the proprietor of a coffee-house in 
the Kohlmarkt, happened to have a sick servant whom 
he wished to place under the care of this practitioner. 
He therefore wrote to Professor Wawruch, asking him 
to receive the patient, and requesting him, at the same 
time, to visit Beethoven, who was in want of medical aid. 



176 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

Considerable time elapsed before I ascertained that 
Beethoven's amiable nephew Karl, whilst playing one 
day at billiards in this coffee-house, entrusted the 
proprietor with this commission. The professor knew 
neither Beethoven nor his constitution, treated him in 
his regular routine fashion, prescribing for him, during 
the first four weeks of his illness, seventy-two bottles 
of medicine, often three different sorts in one day, so 
that, as early as the 1st day of January, the patient 
was more dead than alive. At last I could not look 
any longer on this gross mismanagement, and went off 
straight to Dr. Malfatti, formerly Beethoven's friend. 
He required a great deal of persuasion, and when 
Beethoven himself implored him, most earnestly at the 
first consultation, to attend him professionally, Malfatti 
replied he could not, out of respect for the other doctor, 
and came at most once or twice a week to the con- 
sultation. During the last week, however, he came 
daily. In short, to you, I can and will say it : 
Beethoven might have lived ten years longer, had he 
not been sacrificed to the most contemptible meanness 
and ignorance of others. All these matters will be 
more fully explained at a later period. 

" Hummel went back again to Weimar on the 9th. 
His wife and his pupil, a Mr. Hiller, from Frankfort, 
were with him here. The latter sends you his kind 
remembrances, and so does Hummel. The expenses of 
the funeral are now nearly settled, and amount to 
330 florins. 



LETTER FROM RAU. 177 

" I might tell you a great deal more, but I must con- 
clude. Our friend,, Lewinger, sends both of you his kind 
remembrances. He is so kind as to send this letter 
by Rothschild. Rau also desires to be remembered. 
Write to us soon. Say everything that is kind for 
me to Herr Stumpff, and tell him that it was 
Beethoven's intention to dedicate to him one of his 
newest works. This shall be done, if we can only 
find some one work that is completed. A kind fare- 
well from 

u Your old friend, 

" Schindler." 

After a few months Rau writes to Moscheles on 
this matter : — 

"Vienna, June 17th, 1827. 

" ])o not accuse me of neglect, dear friend, because 
I have left you so long without information respecting 
the state of Beethoven's affairs. I told you already 
that I put in a claim to the 1000 florins sent by the 
Philharmonic Society before he died. Herr Hofrath 
Breuning, the executor of the will, could and dared 
not take any steps in the matter, until Beethoven's 
creditors had been publicly summoned in the usual 
way. They met on the 5th of June. By the advice 
of Herr Baron v. Eskclcs, I sent a legal friend of 
mine to the meeting, desiring him to renew my 
claim, but the ' Massc-Curator/ Dr. Bach, steadily 
opposed it. So in order to expedite matters, and 

VOL. I. N 



178 LIFE OF MOSCH EI/KS. 

bring them to a successful issue, I want a power 
of attorney from the Philharmonic Society which, 
duly proved at the Austrian Embassy, may confer 
on me full powers to demand back, by legal pro- 
cess, the 1000 florins, and to appoint a legal friend to 
settle this business. I propose Dr. Eltz as a fitting 
person. 

" After the meeting I went off to Dr. Bach, to talk 
over the matter confidentially, for I could not under- 
stand the difficulties which people thrust in the way of 
this righteous demand. He answered me honestly and 
openly that it was his duty, acting on behalf of the 
nephew, still a minor, to dispute every counter-claim 
that interfered with that nephew's interests. But his 
opinion was that a lawsuit, and its heavy attendant 
expenses, would be best avoided if the Philharmonic 
Society would generously be induced to consider this 
sum as a contribution to Beethoven's monument, the 
remainder to be lodged in the house of Eskeles or 
Rothschild for remittance back to the Societv. Under 
this supposition, Dr. Bach would do his best to further 
this remittance. Baron Eskeles, and many experienced 
jurists, gladly entertain this scheme, especially as, since 
Beethoven's death, one of our most important wit- 
nesses, I mean Hofrath von Breuning, has also died. 
This excellent man caught cold whilst attending the 
sale of Beethoven's property by auction, and died after 
three days. He was the single witness who could 
identify the 1000 florins as the same that were 



bebthoven's ms. memoranda. 179 

scat over by the Society. We shall be guided by 
your uext letter as to our future conduct in this 
ail air. 

" The Eskelcs and Wimpffens, one and all, join 
with me in kind regards to you and your wife, 

" Your friend, 

" Rau." 

" Vienna, Sept. 14th, 1827. 

"My dearest Friend, — By the kindness of 
Mr. Levisey, bearer of despatches to the English 
Government, I seize the opportunity of writing and 
forwarding you the enclosed souvenir of our friend 
Beethoven. In your last letter you wished for a manu- 
script of some well-known composition of the great 
master. Here then is the last part of the scherzo 
of his last Symphony, and along with it one of 
those remarkable pocket-books in which Beethoven, 
whilst out walking, used to jot down his ideas, 
working them up, on his return home, from these 
skeleton sketches into his full score. I was so fortu- 
nate as to rescue several of them, and to me they 
are of the deepest interest, but they are scarcely 
intelligible to any but those who can trace the 
full flower in the germ before them. The book I 
send contains sketches for one of his last quartets ; 
and should you ever hear any of these you will 
see by some of the passages written down at full 
length to which quartet they belong. I believe I 

n 2 



180 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

cannot better prove to you my friendship than by 
sending you this relic, the first and only one I 
shall ever part with — unless a large sum of money 
be offered. Lewinger tells me he has already sent 
you Beethoven's portrait. I only hope it is that 
in which he is lithographed writing, for that is the 
best ; all the others are bad. On the sheet of paper 
before him are the words f Missa Solemnis/ I wanted 
to send everything to you by Mr. Clementi, whose 
acquaintance I made in London, but I missed him 
before he left, and had not heard of his intended 
departure. 

" Pixis came here from Paris, for a fortnight, and 
returned yesterday, travelling by way of Prague. 
Spontini, too, has left us. He is beating up recruits, 
and gave my sister an engagement. She and I may 
go together next spring to Berlin, as the Kärntner- 
thor Theatre will probably be closed again. This 
at all events is certain, that Barbara's management 
ends next April. What will happen afterwards is an 
open question. People talk confidently of Madame 
Pasta coming here for the next winter. I should 
exceedingly like to hear the real truth from you. You 
can easily find it out for me ; I should be glad, for 
my sister's sake, that she should see and hear such an 
artiste. Perhaps you would enclose a note for me in 
a letter to Lewinger or Bau, and give me information 
on this subject. I should like, too, to have ,an 
ackowledgment of the receipt of these papers, 



"BIOGRAPHIES OF BEETHOVEN. 181 

sketches, &c. Tell me how you are, and all your be- 
longings. 

" The Beethoven business proceeds very slowly ; we 
are met by so many obstacles. In June, that most 
amiable man, Hofrath von Breuning, died ; and now 
the c curator' has been laid up for the last six weeks. 
I am only anxious to know what is to be done with 
the money sent from England. The tombstone is to be 
placed very shortly. Piringer and others have ordered 
it. I have heard nothing, seen nothing of it, for 
everything is done secretly, probably that they may 
have the sole credit. At Prague, Herr Schlosser has 
published a most wretched biography of Beethoven. 
Here, too, a subscription is circulating for another 
1 life/ which, I hear, will be compiled by Herr GräfFer, 
although the biographer, selected by Beethoven him- 
self, is Hofrath Rochlitz, of Leipzig, to whom, by 
Beethoven's desire, Breuning and I had to deliver very 
important papers. The newly-appointed guardian of 
Beethoven's nephew has handed over Breuning's papers 
to Herr Grälfer. This was very bad conduct, but no 
harm is done, for the papers were for the most part 
connected with the family history, and I have the 
most important still in my own custody. God bless 
you! 

" Your very sincere and obliged friend, 

w Ant. Schindler." 

The business in which Moschelcs found himself 



182 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

involved by the death of the great Beethoven, and 
the service he had rendered him, could not be brought 
to a satisfactory conclusion at once, as the following 
letter proves : — 

" Vienna, Feb. 10th, 1828. 

' To Herr Ignaz Moscheles, Composer of Music, and Member 
of the Philharmonic Society of London. 

" Most respected Sir, — After the death of Herr 
von Breuning, which took place in Vienna on the 4-th 
of June 1827, 1 was appointed by the proper authority 
in that city the legal guardian of Karl von Beethoven, 
a minor, the nephew and heir of the composer 
Ludwig von Beethoven, who died — alas ! prematurely 
for the world of art — on the 26th of March last year. 
I undertook this heavy responsibility solely for the 
purpose of trying to lead this highly-gifted youth 
back to the paths of virtue, from which (I say it with 
sorrow) he has to some extent strayed. I did it 
for the sake of his great uncle, who had befriended 
him since his childhood, although he had not always 
availed himself of the most discreet means to in- 
sure his welfare. I have yet another reason. The 
young man has expressed great confidence in me, and 
has conducted himself with the strictest propriety 
since he entered upon the military profession as a 
cadet in an infantry regiment. 

" Judging by the legal documents before me, Beet- 
hoven^ small fortune (after deducting sums for pay- 
ment of some heavy debts, expenses of his illness, and 



LETTER FROM HOTSCHEBAR. 183 

funeral) consists of little more than 8000 florins in 
Austrian paper-money. I am on the point of nego- 
tiating the legal registration of this property, for 
according to the terms of the will my ward is only to 
enjoy a life-interest in the property, whilst the capital 
reverts to his heirs, unless otherwise appointed by 
will, to whom the property will be legally secured. 

" In addition to several other debts legally regis- 
tered and publicly announced at the general meeting 
of Ludwig von Beethoven's creditors, there is a further 
claim for 1000 florins, Austrian money, preferred by 
the advocate, Dr. Eltz of Vienna, as the representative 
and nominee of your friend, Herr Rau ; he is also 
empowered to act for the Philharmonic Society of 
London. This sum is said to be identified as the 
money sent some time since, during Beethoven's life- 
time, as a present in the shape of pecuniary aid, by 
the Philharmonic Society of London. 

" As it is necessary before the legal settlement of 
the testator's property to prove that this claim on 
behalf of Dr. Eltz has been either settled or with- 
drawn, and as I, acting as guardian, am most anxious 
to arrange this business as soon as possible, I write 
to you, sir, as one of Beethoven's most intimate and 
respected friends, as the representative of that high- 
minded body, the Philharmonic Society of London, and 
as one of ourselves whom we delight to honour, 
although living far from us ; lastly, in the name of a 
youth full of talent and promise, who when his uncle 



184 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

died lost his sole support, and is left destitute. May 
I beg of you, sir, to take the necessary steps that 
the Society may generously withdraw their claim, even 
assuming it to be a perfectly righteous one, through 
Herr Eau, and his representative Dr. Eltz ; and that 
they empower Herr Eau to notify this withdrawal of 
claim to the proper authorities. 

" I am deeply and solely concerned for th e welfare 
of this most promising youth, who by the death of 
his uncle, Ludwig von Beethoven, who idolized him, 
has lost his only support. I address myself very 
confidently to the generous Philharmonic Society, 
trusting they will not ask the return of the sum given 
to assist Beethoven — money presented so long ago 
that it is impossible to say that the identical sum still 
exists. I would further request them, through you, 
not to curtail the small sum with which I am to 
maintain my ward, for I can hardly hope to get more 
than 400 florins in the shape of yearly interest. Ac- 
cording to the accounts, more than 1000 florins 
have been expended in defraying the expenses of the 
testator's illness and funeral, besides paying other 
debts ; so that it will be fully believed that I feel 
great difficulty in securing my ward from want, until 
he is fortunate enough to get his commission as an 
officer — a position which, in the absence of other 
support, would actually leave him still in embarrassed 
circumstances. 

" For these reasons, sir, I shall be excused in ex- 



CLAIMS OF BEETHOVEN^ NEPHEW. 185 

pressing a hope that the Society,, and the old friends 
and admirers of Beethoven, will show their honour to 
his memory by befriending the nephew who sorely 
needs their assistance. I venture to offer my ser- 
vices, and bind myself to invest any sum as advan- 
tageously as I can. 

" I cannot bring myself to think that the Philhar- 
monic Society would ever persist in enforcing their 
claim ; nor, if it came to a question of law, do I doubt 
for a moment the Judge would give a decision in 
favour of the heir, but still the law expenses and the 
delay would seriously embarrass me. The sum left is 
so small, and I have got to pay law expenses, legacy 
duties, &c. 

" Finally, I think I can explain to the Society the 
reason why Ludwig von Beethoven complained of 
poverty before his death, and asked their assistance. 
He considered his nephew as his son and ward, and 
thought it his duty to provide for his support. This 
feeling may confidently be asserted to have prompted 
him to look on the seven shares of the Austrian 
National Bank, not as his own property, but as that of his 
favourite nephew, for whose support he destined them 
in his will. It was a matter of religious feeling with 
him, and he adhered to it loyally, that the burden of 
maintaining his poor nephew, for whom he would have 
sacrificed his own life, imposed on him such a duty. 

"I may safely say that the noblest sacrifice to the 
manes of Beethoven, and the fulfilment of his dearest 



186 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

wish, for which he toiled throughout all his life, would 
be the securing of his poor nephew from want. Were 
I myself blessed with a fortune, and had I not duties 
to my own relatives, I would willingly devote it to him. 

" I trust, sir, you will recognise the honesty and 
purity of intention with which I write to you, and will 
excuse me the more readily as I can assure you that 
I have, out of pure affection for the nephew of the 
great man, undertaken the duties and care of a 
guardian. On this point, and for references to my per- 
sonal character, M. Rau will give you all the informa- 
tion you can wish. 

" Hoping that I shall soon receive a kind and 
favourable reply, sent to me direct, or through Mr. 
Rau, and commending myself and the cause of my 
ward to your kind consideration, 

" I remain, Sir, with great respect, 
" Your most humble servant, 

" Jacob Hotschebar. 

" Imperial Hofconcipist. " 

Rau also wrote as follows : — 

"Vienna, Feb. 10th, 1828. 
" Dear Friend, — I send you herewith a letter from 
the administrator of Beethoven's property, by which 
you will see that the legal proceedings are' drawing to 
an end. I was called on to give an official explanation 
about the 1000 florins presented by the Philharmonic 
Society ; but not having received further instructions 
from you, and being unwilling without them to make 



PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY^ CLAIM ABANDONED. 187 

myself responsible, I asked for a delay, until I heard 
your wishes on the matter. The enclosed letter will 
put you in possession of all the facts. 

" Between ourselves, if you can manage to negotiate 
the surrender of the 1000 florins, we shall be spared 
much unpleasantness, and perhaps a lawsuit. Even Dr. 
Eltz and Baron Eskcles think that the 1000 florins 
found at Beethoven's death would with great difficulty be 
identified, as Hofrath Breuning, who managed the 
inventory, is now dead. Should the money, however, 
be unexpectedly redemanded, a power of attorney 
must be sent to Dr. Eltz by the Philharmonic 
Society, in order that he may prove his legal claims 
at the cost of the Society. The legal process might 
possibly swallow up the entire sum. Pray give me a 
speedy and definite answer. The Eskeles, Wimpffens, 
Ephraims, &c, are well, and join me in kind remem- 
brance to you and your wife. — Your friend, 

" Rau." 

On receipt of this note, Moscheles conferred with 
the Directors of the Philharmonic Society, and induced 
them to abandon altogether their claim to the money, 
but the whole business and the comments thereon 
gave him a great deal of annoyance and trouble. Re- 
ports came to England from Vienna, where people were 
naturally ashamed of Beethoven's having had to look to 
London for assistance, stating that Beethoven, after all, 
had not been so badly off, that he had not touched the 



183 LTFE OF MOSCHELES. 

100/., and besides that he had left some Bank shares ; 
how could Moscheles have been bold enough to open 
a subscription for him in London, or the Philharmonic 
Society have ventured to force itself upon our Beethoven 
with their present ? Moscheles personally was pro- 
foundly indifferent to such insinuations ; it was enough 
for him to have been called f friend ' by Beethoven 
himself, and to have lightened, in however humble a 
way, the sufferings of his latter days. Still it was due 
to Beethoven's memory, as well as to the Philharmonic 
Society, to see that the truth was properly stated, and 
thus to silence malignant and envious tongues. He 
therefore made a public statement, which went the 
round of the newspapers. The lock of Beethoven's 
hair, the sketches in his own hand, the metronome 
tempi of the 9th Symphony, and the sketch-book which 
Schindler sent him, were always kept and regarded as 
the most sacred relics, and are now in the possession 
of his son Felix. 

We here insert a letter of Beethoven's which, 
although unconnected with the preceding correspon- 
dence, is of interest to the student of his works ; it is 
from the collection of autographs in the possession 
of the late Consul- General Clauss of Leipzig. 

1 ' To Mr. Joseph von Warena, in Grätz. 

" Honoured Sir, — Bode was perfectly correct in 
everything he said about me. My health is none of 
the best, and without any fault of my own, my 



beethovkn's letter to waren a. 189 

condition in other respects is perhaps the most un- 
favourable I have ever experienced ; that, however, 
and nothing in the world shall prevent me from help- 
ing as far as possible, by such small work as I can 
offer, your Convent ladies, who, like myself, are suffer- 
ing from no fault of their own. 

" Two completely new symphonies therefore are 
entirely at your service, an. air for a bass voice with 
chorus, several isolated small choruses, and if you 
want the overture to ' Ungarns "Wohlthäter" (overture 
to King Stephen, Hungary's benefactor), which you 
performed last year, this is at your service as well. 

" The Overture to ' The Ruins of Athens/ although in 
rather a small style, is also at your disposal. Amongst 
others there is a Dervish chorus, a good signboard for 
a motley audience (ein gutes Aushängeschild für ein 
gemischtes Publikum). In my opinion you would do 
wisely to choose a day when you could give the 
oratorio of " Christ on the Mount of Olives/'' Since 
I wrote it, it has been performed everywhere. This 
would make up the half of a concert ; for the second 
half you might give a new symphony, the overtures, 
and several choruses, and also the above-mentioned 
bass air with chorus. Thus the evening would not 
lack variety. Still you had best talk over this matter 
with, and be advised by, the local musical authorities. 
With regard to what you say respecting my remu- 
neration at the hands of a third person, I believe I 
can guess to whom you allude ; were I in my former 



190 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

position, well, I would say straightforwardly { Beethoven 
never takes a farthing where humanity is to be 
benefited/ but just at present I am so circumstanced 
by my large charities (a state of things I have no 
reason to be ashamed of), and by other matters arising 
from the conduct of men destitute of honour and 
good faith, that I tell you plainly I shall not refuse 
my share, if offered to me by a person who can well 
afford it. The question here is not one of claims, 
but should the whole business about this third person 
come to nothing, be assured that, I am even now just 
as ready as I was last year, without the smallest 
recompense, to do any good turn to my friends, the 
respected ladies of the Convent, and that I shall be 
ready to assist suffering humanity as long as I breathe. 
" And now farewell ; write soon, and I shall most 
zealously look after everything that is required. My 
best wishes for the Convent, with great respect, 
" Your friend, 

" Ludwig van Beethoven." 

The programmes of the Philharmonic Concerts of 
this season bear witness to the respect paid to 
Beethoven's memory and that of other German com- 
posers, since their masterpieces were to be met with in 
every programme. Liszt and Moscheles appeared as 
solo performers, and the best singers were constantly 
heard. The programme was often composed of the 
masterpieces of Handel, Haydn, and Mozart. Amongst 



DINNER GIVEN TO CLEMENTI. 191 

the vocalists we read of Madame Stockhausen, who had 
already become a favourite with the public ; her unpre- 
teutiousness and earnestness made her a model to every 
young aspirant in the profession. Her voice was lovely, 
bell-like, and exquisitely flexible. She had created a 
furore in the salons of Paris with her native Swiss 
melodies, but devoted her best energies to serious study. 
When she came to London in search of engagements, 
a soprano was wanted for oratorios, and Sir George 
Smart, who at once recognised her talents, offered to 
study with her the English text, with a view to correct 
accent and pronunciation. This kind and able man 
offered to instruct Madame Stockhausen in the tradi- 
tional method of singing in Handel's oratorios ; without 
his aid her success in England must have remained 
doubtful. Sir George soon found that his gifted pupil 
profited by his teaching, and she became an indispen- 
sable support for the London as well as the great pro- 
vincial music-festivals. Her fame steadily increased, 
but she continued as amiable and unpretending as 
before, and with all her grand performances in 
oratorios, condescended to charm her audiences with 
her light Swiss melodies. 

We read in the diary, " We artists gave a dinner 
and musical entertainment to old Clementi. Cramer 
and I received him ; he was greeted with rounds of 
applause, and ninety of us sat down with him to dinner. 
He was placed between Sir G. Smart and myself, and 
when the cloth was removed we had speeches, toasts, 



192 LIFE OE MOSCIIELES. 

and music. Of course a wish was expressed and 
rapturously applauded, that Clementi, the father of 
pianoforte playing, should be heard on this occasion, and 
thus prove his right to the title. Clementi rose from 
his chair ; Smart, Cramer, and I led him to the instru- 
ment. The excitement was great, the whole party 
eagerly listening. Clementi had not been heard for 
years. He extemporized on a theme from Handel, 
and completely carried us away by his fine playing. 
His eyes gleamed with youthful fire ; those of 
many of his hearers were dimmed with tears of 
emotion. Amidst shouts of applause, and the 
heartiest congratulations, he resumed his seat. 

" dementi's pianoforte playing, when he was young, 
was famed for the exquisite legato, pearliness of touch 
in rapid passages, and unerring certainty of execution. 
Even now the remains of these qualities were recognised 
and admired, but what chiefly delighted his audience 
was the charm and freshness of his modulations in 
improvisation/'' 

On the day of the dinner given to Clementi, Moscheles 
writes : " I can only jot down a few words in addition 
to my wife's letter, before our great dinner comes off, 
as ten stiff fingers are waiting in the next room for me 
to make them flexible ; they are like thirsty mill-wheels 
waiting for a fresh flow of water. 

" Hummel wished to publish his l New Pianoforte 
School' in England, and I negotiated the matter for 
him, although I saw the wreck of his scheme in his 



fLAYS BEFORE THE PRINCESS VICTORIA. 193 

demand of 150/. the publisher refusing to give more 
than 100/. 

" During this season ' Oberon ' was frequently 
given at Covent Garden, and also Mozart's ' Seraglio/ 
not, however, the pure unadulterated Mozart music, such 
as we Germans know, but with whole numbers cut out, 
and other popular English melodies substituted. A 
fearful desecration ! The culprit who has this 
Pasticcio on his conscience is Kramer, of Brighton, 
director of the King's band. As a compensation for 
this musical outrage, we had some rich and often 
amazingly beautiful scenic effects/'' 

Moscheles played before the Court circle assembled 
at the Duchess of Kent's in Kensington Palace. " The 
little Princess Victoria was present, and the Duchess 
begged me to play at once, so that the Princess, who 
was obliged to go to bed early, might hear me. She 
left the room after my second piece. I had to play 
a great deal (on a Broad wood), and accompanied the 
Duchess in a song of Beethoven's, besides a duet from 
( Zelmira,' sung by her Royal Highness and the 
Princess Feodora. The Royal party took a very 
friendly interest in my performances, but what I 
think pleased them more than all was my improvisa- 
tion on some of the Tyrolcse Melodies, for the 
Duchess had twice commanded the attendance of the 
Rainers at the palace/' 

Extracts from Mrs. Moscheles' letters will show that 
her husband's time was socially and professionally a 

VOL. I. O 



194 LIFE OE MOSCHELES. 

busy one : " Happily such a day as that of Monday 
last is a rare occurrence in my poor husband's life, busy 
as it always is. First came the inevitable nine lessons, 
then the dinner of the Royal Society of Musicians, 
where he played, and to wind up, an evening party at 
Sir Richard Jackson's, which lasted until two a.m."" 

This was the first season that Heinrich Heine 
appeared in London. During his residence in Ham- 
burg, he was on intimate terms with Mrs. Moscheles' 
family, and since those days had become distantly 
related. It would have been strange if, in such a 
commercial centre as Hamburg, Heine's genius had 
been instantly recognised, and, as a fact, no one sus- 
pected it in the youth who, often absorbed in thought, 
was always satirical, and more than averse to the 
routine of " business " in a rich uncle's office, though 
it might prove the surest passport to the income 
of a millionaire. But a poet he was, and a poet he 
would be. Consequently all he retained of his mer- 
cantile studies was a horror of business, and a singu- 
larly beautiful handwriting. 

So far from agreeable were his recollections of 
Hamburg that when, in 1830, Mrs. Moscheles asked 
him to write in her album, he treated her to a satire on 
her native town, which we here give in the original, 
and an English version of the same : — 

Dass ich bequem verbluten kann, 
Gebt mir ein weites edles Feld ! 
lasst mich nicht ersticken hier, 
In dieser engen Krämerwelt ! 



HEINRICH HEINE. 195 

Sie essen gut, sie trinken gut, 
Erfreu'n sich ihres Maulwurfsglücks ; 
Und ihre Grossmuth ist so gross, 
Als wie das Loch der Arnienbüchs'. 

Cigarren tragen sie im Maul, 
Und in der Hosentach' die Hand', 
Auch die Verdauungskraft ist gut — 
Wer sie nur selbst verdauen könnt ! 

O, dass ich grosse Laster sah', 
Verbrechen blutig, colossal — 
Kur diese satte Tugend nicht, 
Und zahlungsfähige Moral ! 

Ihr Wolken droben, nehmt mich mit, 
Gleichviel, nach welchem fernen Ort — 
Nach Lappland oder Afrika, 
Und sei's nach Pommern, immer fort ! 

O nehmt mich mit !— Sie hören nicht — 
Die Wolken droben sind so klug ! 
Vorrüberreisend dieser Stadt 
yEngstlich beschleun'gen sie den Flug. 

H. Heine. 



TRANSLATION. 

I crave an ampler worthier sphere : 

I'd liefer bleed at every vein, 
Than stille mid these hucksters here, 

These lying slaves of paltry gain. 

They eat, they drink ; they're every whit 

As happy as their type the mole ; 
Large are their bounties, as the slit 

Through which they drop the poor man's dole. 

Cigar in mouth they go their way, 
And bands in pockets, they are blest 

With grand digestions — only they 
Are such hard morsels to digest ! 

The hand that's red with some dark deed, 
Some giant crime, were white as wool, 

Compared with these sleek saints whose creed 
Is paying all their debts in full. 

o 2 



196 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

Ye clouds that sail to far off lands, 

Oh, waft rue to what clime ye will ; 
To Lapland's snows, to Libya's sands, 

To the world's end — but onward still ! 

Take me, clouds ! they ne'er look down : 

But proof of a discerning mind, 
One moment hang o'er Hamburg town, 

The next they've left it leagues behind. 

After the publication of his " Reisebilder,"" he 
made many enemies ; some persons, of whose identity 
with characters portrayed in that work there could 
be no doubt, smarted under the merciless lash of the 
poet, and would have retaliated on him if they could, 
whilst lookers-on at a distance chuckled with delight 
at the biting satire. Heine's prose was acknowledged 
to be that of a master. His originality of thought, 
striking imagery, terseness and vigorous language, con- 
trasted wonderfully with the involved periods of some 
of his contemporaries. His great reputation had 
reached England before his arrival, and naturally his 
appearance in London created a sensation. 

Mrs. Moscheles writes : " My old Hamburg acquain- 
tance, the famous Heinrich Heine, is here. We 
delight in seeing him. He often invites himself to 
dinner, and I flatter myself that he feels quite at 
home with us. His genius and writings are a constant 
source of delight to me, yet I can't help feeling some 
slight misgiving, knowing as I do the keenness of his 
satire. At his very first visit we had a very curious 
conversation. I scarcely know how I came to muster 
courage, but when he told me of all the lions he 



HEINE IN LONDON. 197 

wanted to see, I said, c I can get you tickets of 
admission to numbers of private galleries and other 
sights, and shall consider it an honour to do so., but I 
must stipulate for one thing in return. This is that you 
will not mention Moscheles by name in the book you 
are no doubt going to write about England. He was 
completely taken by surprise, and I gave additional 
reasons. Moscheles'' speciality is music; this, I know, 
interests you — but you have no thorough knowledge 
of it as an art, and consequently cannot fully enter 
into it. On the other hand, you can easily find in 
Moscheles a subject for your satirical vein, and intro- 
duce him in your work ; I should not like that/ He 
laughed, or rather simpered, in his peculiar way, and 
then we shook hands over our bargain." 

Again Mrs. Moscheles writes : " Heine took a walk 
with us in Grosvenor Square, the key of which had been 
lent us ; he was very facetious on the number of chim- 
ney-pots, which are certainly bewildering to a gaping 
foreigner. Two days ago he came here, wet through, 
for a change of clothes. I sent him into my husband's 
dressing-room. He sent back the things shortly 
before he left England, with the following note : — 

u My dear Mr. Moscueles, — On the point of start- 
ing, I bid you heartily farewell, and take the oppor- 
tunity of thanking you for the sympathy and kindness 
you both have shown me : I am sorry I did not find 
Mrs. Moscheles at home the day before yesterday. 



198 LIFE OE MOSCHELES. 

You, Mr. Moscheles, were ' engaged ; 9 and I did 
not like to have you called away. I am just packing 
my trunk, and at last return your property, thinking 
it a good joke to ask for my boots, as well as the second 
volume of the f Reisebilder/ left as a deposit in your 
dressing-room. If I possibly can I will pay you 
another visit, if only to assure you by word of mouth 
that I highly, very highly esteem and love you 
both. 

"Your devoted, 

" H. Heine. 

" 32, Craven Street, Strand, 
July, 1827." 

Carl Klingemann, the gifted poet, and friend of 
Mendelssohn, who arrived in London this year, as 
Secretary to the Hanoverian embassy, became, after 
the lapse of a few weeks, a constant visitor and inti- 
mate friend of the Moscheles. His delightful verses, 
which Mendelssohn set to music, are well known. 
He was not only welcome to the Moscheles as a man 
of letters, but his vocal gifts and musical talent gave 
exceptional value to his criticism of musical composi- 
tions. In later years family ties helped to strengthen 
the sincere friendship which had arisen between the 
two families. During this season, Oury, an admirable 
violinist, gave Chamber Concerts ; De Beriot and 
Cramer were shining lights, and Camillo Sivori, a 
boy of nine years of age, Paganinr's pupil, appeared 
on the musical horizon. " Truly a prodigy for 



FIRST APPEARANCE OF SIVORI. 199 

power, purity of tone, and execution." On one 
occasion, when the Hamburg relatives are invited to 
London, Moscheles writes : — 

" We have plenty of room for you both ; should you 
find it too narrow, there is plenty more in our hearts. 
Besides, you ought to see my boy clambering about 
me, and chattering an obligato accompaniment to 
my letter." 

Shortly after the arrival of the guests, Moscheles 
rejoices at the birth of a first daughter, and, a few 
months after, we find the whole family travelling 
to Scotland, Moscheles fulfilling, as he went along, 
professional engagements in several of the great 
northern towns. 



200 



CHAPTEE XI. 

1828. 

EDINBURGH — CURIOUS ARCHITECTURE — SIR WALTER SCOTT — A DE- 
LIGHTFUL VISIT — HIGHLANDERS AND THE BAGPIPES — SCOTT'S 
APPRECIATION OF GERMAN LITERATURE — CONTRIBUTION TO 
MOSCHELES' ALBUM — SCOTCH CHURCH SERVICE— VISITS TO THE 
LIONS OF EDINBURGH — SPURZHEIM THE PHRENOLOGIST — LIFE 
OF A MUSICIAN IN LONDON — MADEMOISELLE SONTAG — PETER 
PIXIS— FETE AT VAUXHALL — SCOTT AND THE PRIMA DONNA — 
MADEMOISELLE MARS. 

EDINBURGH, 3rd January. — Yesterday's walk 
through the streets was a series of surprises. 
As I looked at the old houses, consisting in some 
instances of sixteen stories, inhabited by the poorest 
families, renting single rooms, each with its dimly 
lighted window, I seemed to look at a feeble attempt 
at illumination. Standing on the viaduct which con- 
nects the Old and New Town, I had these old houses 
to my left, on the right, the handsome Princes Street, 
and the whole of the new quarter, now in the process 
of building, which is to consist of a number of 
crescents, squares, and streets, filled with palatial 
houses, built of freestone. Such buildings are to be 
seen elsewhere, but Princes Street is certainly unique 
in its way ; there is a long row of houses on one side, 



VISIT TO EDINBURGH. 201 

intersected by sloping streets, from which you get a 
view of the Frith of Forth, whilst the opposite side 
opens to your view Edinburgh Castle on its rock, to 
which you ascend by a terrace garden. As I was 
taking my evening stroll, I saw a party of Highlanders, 
kilt and all, coming off guard. They marched down 
from the Castle and passed close by me, regaling my 
ears with genuine Scottish music of drum and fife. 

" Our lodgings in Frederick Street, which were taken 
for us beforehand, were curious specimens of architec- 
ture. One peculiarity consisted in a raised ground- 
floor, that ran under the neighbouring house, but 
disconnected with any staircase leading to the upper 
stories. The next house to that, on the contrary, had 
no rooms on the ground-floor, and the visitor, after 
mounting a staircase, found a bell, which secured his 
admission to the first story. House-doors and steps 
were quite open ; many other houses were constructed 
on this curious principle." 

The success of this winter expedition, undertaken 
by Moscheles for professional purposes, was seriously 
imperilled by an Italian Opera Company which had 
forestalled him, and he was obliged to put up with a 
third-rate orchestra, got together any how from regi- 
mental bandsmen ; the Highlanders, with their bare 
legs and kilts, being the poor substitutes for a well- 
trained orchestra. 

The concert room was only two-thirds full, but 
Moscheles, in his fantasia, the " Anticipations of Scot- 



202 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

land," created great enthusiasm ; and the newspapers, 
one and all, condemned the apathy shown by this 
poor attendance at his concert. This appeal to the 
good sense of the Edinburgh folk had its effect, for 
the two next concerts were filled to overflowing. 

The Moscheles, on the occasion of this visit to 
Edinburgh, made the acquaintance of Sir Walter 
Scott, in whom the reading world had discovered " the 
Great Unknown/'' and to whose intellectual eminence 
thousands upon thousands looked up with feelings of 
the deepest gratitude and homage. The sickliness 
and sentimentality characteristic of the romance 
writers before the days of Scott, it is true, were avoided 
by Miss Austin, Miss Edgeworth, and some few 
others, who found materials for their fictions in the 
episodes of private life, but Scott was the first to intro- 
duce characters of real historical interest, and clothe 
them with flesh and blood. 

The world in those days knew nothing of the 
stimulants supplied wholesale by Eugene Sue, Alex- 
andre Dumas, &c, and revelled in the simplicity, 
picturesqueness, and wholesome truths conveyed in 
the fictions of the " Great Wizard of the North." 

To the delight of Moscheles, Sir Walter sent an 
immediate answer to his letter of recommendation, 
saying that, being confined to his house with an attack 
of gout, he hoped Moscheles and bis wife would come 
to breakfast, instead of waiting for him to visit them. 

Next morning, at 10 a.m., they called at No. 6, 



BREAKFAST WITH SIR WALTER SCOTT. 203 

Shandwick Place, where the illustrious man was 
staying for the winter, with his second, and un- 
married, daughter. u He opened the door himself," 
says Moscheles, " and welcomed us heartily : he was 
suffering from gout, and walked with a stick. Before 
we had taken off our things we felt completely at 
home, and my wife's anticipated awe of the great man 
had entirely vanished. We sat down to breakfast 
forthwith, and a genuine good Scotch breakfast we 
had, served on handsome silver plate, by two servants 
in powder and livery. Scott's conversation was ex- 
tremely animated and delightful : he understands 
German, and is thoroughly versed in our literature, 
and an enthusiastic worshipper of Goethe. He told us 
many anecdotes, but when he asked me, f How do 
you like my cousin the piper ? — you know, we Scotch 
are all cousins ' — I am afraid my answer must have 
done violence to his sense of music, which by nature 
was very limited. It was impossible for me to pretend 
to any enthusiasm for the bagpipes. Sir Walter had 
expected as much, but expatiated on the wonderful 
effect the national music has on the native High- 
landers, arguing that a wandering piper would attract 
crowds in the streets of Edinburgh j also, that in 
battle the sound of bagpipes would inspire Scotch 
soldiers with a desperate valour. ( You should hear 
my cousin the piper play and sing " The Pibroch o' 
Donald Dim," but with the Gaelic words/ said he ; 
f those words are the only appropriate ones to convey 



204 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

spirit and animation, but the melody itself carries 
one away/ He began to bum the tune, and beat 
time on tbe carpet with his stick, which was always 
by his side ; i but/ added he, c the whole thing is 
wrong ; I sing so badly : my cousin, who has just 
come in, must play the tune for us upstairs in the 
drawing-room/ Accordingly, we went upstairs ; the 
cousin played me the subject; I extemporized upon it, 
and completely won the heart of our ever-youthful- 
minded and genial host. This was the prelude to my 
playing several Scotch airs, which I had to vary and 
interweave in all manner of ways. At last we parted, 
after a delightful visit, ever memorable to us ; the 
amiability and sweetness of Scott's manner are never 
to be forgotten. Kindness, indeed, is written in 
every feature, and speaks in every word that falls 
from him. He treated my wife like a pet daughter, 
kissed her on the cheek when we went away, and 
promised he would come and see the children, and 
bring them a book. This he did, and his gift was the 
f Tales of a Grandfather/ He had written in the 
title-page, f To Adolphus and Emily Moscheles, from 
the Grandfather/ " 

" After our visit, Sir Walter was unfortunatelv con- 
fined to his bed with a fresh attack of gout ; he got 
better, however, and on the occasion of my third 
concert, which was a matinee, to the surprise of a 
crowded and fashionable audience, Sir Walter stepped 
into the room before the music began. My wife/' 



LETTER FROM SIR WALTER SCOTT. 205 

says Moscheles, <c sat as usual in a remote corner of 
the room ; Scott, however, found her out instantly, 
and sat down by her side, drawing upon her the 
envious eyes of many a fair beholder. His hearty 
bravoes and cheers, when I played, stimulated the 
audience to redouble their applause, which reached a 
climax when I gave them the Scotch airs. Between 
the parts he asked my wife if she knew Burger's poem 
( Der Dichter liebt den guten Wein/ and, on her 
answering in the affirmative, he told her how he 
delighted in this poem, which he had translated into 
English, adding, ' Would you like to have it ? I 
shall send it you/ She begged him to recite the 
song in the original ; this, to my wife's great delight, 
he willingly assented to, whilst all around listened 
eagerly. On the following day, the last before we 
left Edinburgh, Mrs. Moscheles received the following 
note : — 

" My dear Mrs. Moscheles, — As you are deter- 
mined to have me murder the pretty song twice, first 
by repeating it in bad German, and then by turning 
it into little better English, I send the promised 
version. 

" My best wishes attend your journey, and with 
best compliments to Mr. Moscheles, 

" I am truly and respectfully yours, 

" Walter Scott." 



206 LIEE OE MOSCHELES. 

" The day before we left Edinburgh we were 
amused to see our kind friend sitting in the Court of 
Justice, with a wilderness of official papers before 
him." 

Moscheles sent Sir Walter his album, with the 
request that he would contribute to its pages. 
Finding the following poem by Grillparzer, he trans- 
lated it : — 

Tonkunst, dich preis' ich vor Allen, 
Höchstes Loos ist dir gefallen, 
Aus der Schwesterkünste drei, 
Du die frei' sie, einzig frei. 
Denn das "Wort, es lasst sich fangen, 
Deuten lässt sich die Gestalt ; 
Unter Ketten, Riegeln, Stangen 
Halt sie menschliche Gewalt. 
Aber du sprichst höh're Sprachen, 
Die kein Häscherchor versteht, 
Uu greifbar durch ihre Wachen 
Gehst du, wie ein Cherub geht. 
Darum preis' ich dich vor Allen 
In so ängstlich schwerer Zeit ; 
Höchstes Loos ist Dir gefallen, 
Dir, und wer sich dir geweiht. 

This outburst of the poet, groaning under the 
censorship of Austria, and gagged in every generous 
effort for the emancipation of his countrymen, must 
have touched Scott's sympathies. A few hours 
afterwards he sent back the album, with the following 
translation of Grillparzer's poem, headed with these 
words, " I am afraid Mr. Grillparzer's verses, and Mr. 
Moscheles' valuable album, are only disgraced by the 
following rude attempt at translation : " — 



scott's version of grillparzer's poem. 207 

Of the nine the loveliest three 
Are painting, music, poetry, 
But thou art freest of the free, 
Matchless muse of harmony. 

Gags can stop the poet's tongue, 
Chains on painters' arms are flung, 
Fetter, bolts, and dungeon tower 
O'er pen and pencil have their power. 

But music speaks a loftier tone, 
To tyrant and to spy unknown ; 
And free as angels walk with men, 
Can pass unscathed the gaoler's ken. 

Then hail thee, freest of the free ! 
'Mid times of wrong and tyranny ; 
Music, the proudest lot is thine, 
And those who bend at music's shrine. 

This translation, evidencing Scott's accurate know- 
ledge of the German language, Moscheles prized as 
one of the gems of his album. 

The poet and the musician parted, Moscheles pro- 
mising to find a London publisher for some pretty 
songs set to music by a Miss Browne, with words 
by her sister, Felicia Hemans. Scott, on his part, 
engaged to pay an early visit to the Moscheles. The 
music was published, and the visit paid. 

Moscheles observes upon Edinburgh : " The church 
service, from which the organ is banished, struck me 
as peculiar. The Psalms are intoned by a four-part 
choir, in which the congregation joins. But the basses 
are usually in unison with the sopranos, instead of 
forming the support of the other voices. Dr. 
Thomson's sermon was very good in itself, but the 
nasal twang and Scotch accent coupled with the 



208 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

vehement gesticulation of the preacher, made it 
more singular than elevating. The Scotch Sunday, 
I must say, is wearisome to a degree. Twice 
or three times at church, more prayers at home, or 
sitting twirling one's thumbs ; no music, no work, no 
visiting — a perfect blank. I have had to endure all 
this. It's a difficult matter to steal quietly off to 
one's own room and write letters, or clandestinely to 
read books of a secular kind. If I didn't do this I 
should not survive. The deep snow this winter only 
allowed us to take short walks or drives about the city ; 
here is a description of one. 

" To-day we visited Calton Hill, and had a glorious 
view. On one side the blue line of sea, on the other 
Holyrood House ; above us the rock of Arthur's Seat, 
on which Nelson's monument stands. It is an un- 
wieldy mass, and seems too heavy for the rock. TYe 
could hardly keep our balance here from the violence 
of the wind. We drove to Roslyn Castle and Salisbury 
Craigs, but the weather was so cold we could not enjoy 
ourselves. Holyrood House is very interesting ; the 
arrangement of the rooms is the same as in the days 
of Mary Stuart ; the bed-hangings and furniture, as 
well as the coverlets and tapestry, worked by the un- 
fortunate Queen, have turned yellow from age. Time 
has left its stamp on everything. Still, no one standing 
in these rooms can fail to think with sympathy of 
the fair — possibly guilty — but ill-fated Queen. There 
are to be seen Darnley's armour, boots, and gloves; 



HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE. 209 

the small window out of which the infant James I. 
was handed, because his royal mother, weak and help- 
less,, was under arrest in this little room ; and, last of 
all, the hidden side door, near the Queen's boudoir and 
bedroom, which leads to an underground passage. 
When the Queen was surprised by her husband, whilst 
she was with her favourite Rizzio, the unfortunate 
musician, it is said, was repeatedly stabbed with 
daggers, and dragged to the door leading to an outer 
passage, where dark stains are seen on the floor. We 
looked at these incredulously, and treated them as 
mythical ; but to vouch for their genuineness, or 
rather of the poet's belief in it, Mr. Ballantyne, Scott's 
friend, and the printer of his entire works, showed us 
a note which, as the testimony of the poet, is certainly 
of some weight. ' I have no doubt/ says he, ' of 
Rizzio's blood being genuine. I will look at the plan 
of the place ; but I think I am right.' 

" Another day we were shown the High Court of 
Justice, crowded with Scotch advocates in their wigs 
and gowns. The din was fearful; but the judges con- 
trived to follow the speeches of the opposing counsel, 
although the mere effort of listening in the midst of 
such a buzz seemed a mystery to me. I stood close 
to Mr. Murray — one of the greatest advocates in 
Scotland. He was in the act of speaking, but every 
word was drowned by the noise, and escaped me. I 
could see his mouth moving, and his hands raised ; 
that was all. If the listening to the legal arguments 

VOL. I. P 



210 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

of counsel be such a difficulty, I asked myself, 
what must be the task of the judges iu forming an 
opinion, or delivering a judgment ? Flights of steps 
behind the Court of Justice lead to a perfect labyrinth 
of small courts, lanes, and odd corners. Passing by 
these back- stairs, and through these tortuous passages, 
one thinks of poor Effie Deans, and for the first time 
begins to realize the feasibility of her seducer's 
escape." 

Amongst the numerous acquaintances made by 
Moscheles in Edinburgh, was that of Sir John and 
Lady Sinclair. He also called on the great phreno- 
logist Spurzheim, and, wishing to test his powers, gave 
no name, but requested him to examine his skull. 
Spurzheim merely uttered a few unmeaning common- 
places, such as a " disposition for fine art/' and the 
like ; afterwards, however, on hearing the name of 
Moscheles, he explained in a learned manner, how 
nature had stamped him for a musician. Spurz- 
heim gave a public lecture on the anatomy of the 
human brain, and Moscheles and his wife were 
present. 

During the whole time of his stay in Edinburgh, 
Moscheles was obliged to give lessons, in spite of the 
almost prohibitory fee of two guineas an hour. " Some 
ladies/' he says, * f are bent on galloping through my 
compositions with me at their side, no matter how 
difficult the music is, or how short the time." But he 
was soon weary of all this. " I shall be off as fast as 



LABOURS OF A LONDON SEASON. 211 

I can/' he writes, " and be proof against the numerous 
offers they make me ; I can't be plagued with endless 
concerts. " He was true to his word., and was soon 
back in London. 

The " dead time of the year " is supposed to com- 
mence when the season is over ; but to a busy pro- 
fessional man in London, all months are full of life. 
During February Moscheles was much occupied. April, 
May, and June were crowded with engagements, 
there was leisure in July and August for him to ask 
himself why he had not been crushed by the 
weight of private and public business which had 
pressed so heavily on him, why the avalanche of nine 
hours' lessons per diem did not sink him at once and 
for ever, and how he managed to survive at all. He 
had to keep up his social position too, to give and 
attend parties, to keep late hours incessantly, and 
play at his own and others' concerts ; always remem- 
bering that his reputation — perhaps his livelihood — 
depended on his playing up to a standard very difficult 
to maintain when the artist is jaded and worn. Coming 
home in the small hours of the night, he would find a 
heap of business letters, calling for an immediate« an- 
swer, before he could retire to rest. Happy the man 
who, after three-and-twenty years of such a life, does 
not feel utter prostration. The real talisman against 
it is in a happy, cheerful home, and in a total surrender 
of professional business during the autumn months. 
Let him enjoy country air, in lieu of heated rooms and 

p 2 



212 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

the gas of theatres ; salt waves instead of deluges of 
lessons, and the privacy of home for the rush of so- 
ciety. This is well enough in theory : it is a difficult 
matter to reduce to practice. There are tempting in- 
vitations for a professor to make a Continental tour, and 
lucrative offers from the managers of provincial festivals 
in England. Every watering-place has its quantum of 
fashionables, glad to find a musical celebrity for teach- 
ing their daughters or playing at their parties. If an 
artist is not firm as a rock against these varied 
solicitations, he will carry London with him, as the 
snail does her house, and come back from the country 
to re-open the campaign : his pockets full of money, 
but his body and soul unrefreshed. If, on the other 
hand, he will exorcise for awhile the spirit of money- 
getting, his muse will commune with him in his solitary 
walks, and, so far from forsaking him, remain his 
steady friend. 

When Moscheles returned from Scotland in February, 
he found a letter from his friend Peter Pixis, who 
wished to spend the next season in London, as Sontag's 
accompanist. This lady was engaged at the Italian 
Opera, and Pixis was to act as her secretary and 
entrepreneur as well. She came to London on the 3rd 
of April, and was a constant visitor at Moscheles' 
house, where her beauty and fascinating gifts were a 
source of delight to her friends. Her simplicity was 
her great charm. " Sitting with her/'' says Moscheles, 
" at our homely dinner, we entirely forgot the famous 



sontag's FIRST APPEARANCE IN LONDON. 213 

prima donna whose debut all London is awaiting with 
the greatest eagerness. 

" She sang to us repeatedly in private, and with her 
splendid voice and gifts gave us a foretaste of that 
delight and fascination which was to keep her public 
audience spell- bound." " To-day/' says Moscheles, "I 
was present at the dress rehearsal of the c Barbiere/ 
she enchanted every one with her Rosina. When the 
lovely girl appeared on the balcony, she was applauded 
to the echo, and the magic of her voice and style 
captivated us in the opening air, l Una voce poco f a/ 
Her representations in London were a continued series 
of triumphs. The pressure in the pit of the Opera 
House was so great that gentlemen, by the time they 
found their seats, were minus coat-tails, and ladies lost 
their head-dresses. We used to witness the rush from 
Mademoiselle Sontag's own box, which was always 
at our service." " I can't say," says Moscheles, 
" which of her characters I consider the most success- 
ful, for her vocalization is always enchanting ; if I feel 
the absence of grand dramatic effect, I am more than 
compensated by the beauty, natural grace, and the 
combined charm of her voice and person. Her 
variations on the c Schweizcrbue ' are absolutely perfect 
in their own way, and it never occurs to me to ask 
myself ' How she can sing such trash V because she 
sings it so perfectly." 

" April Gth. — Making arrangements for my own and 
Sontag's first concert. That wonderful creature 



214 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

brought Pixis to dine with us. In the evening we 
had some friends who were in ecstasy at hearing 
the German Nightingale." 

" April 8th. — At a grand dinner given in Sontag's 
honour, by Prince Esterhazy, Prince and Princess 
Polignac, Baron Bulow, Count Redern, the Marquis of 
Hertford, Lord and Lady Ellenborough, Lady Fitzroy 
Somerset, Countess St. Antonio, &c. &c, were present. 
Sontag sang exquisitely in the evening. Pixis and I 
played solos and duets." 

" No success is without its alloy, for some captious 
newspaper scribbler volunteered to inform the world 
that Sontag was unfit for the position of prima donna; 
her success soon gave a contradiction to this libel." 

On the 4th of May we read in the diary, c{ Busy 
with a musical work which brought back some painful 
recollections. I wrote for Willis, the publisher, an 
accompaniment to ■ Weber's last composition — an 
English song, which he had written for Miss Stephens,* 
who had sung it at his last concert. Only the vocal 
part, and a few bars of the accompaniment, were 
sketched in his manuscript. I filled in what was 
wanting, carefully distinguishing my own writing from 
that of the composer, by using red ink." 

On various occasions this summer, the Moscheles, 
Pixis, and other German friends and acquaintance of 
Sontag, joined her in short excursions, as to Epsom 

* The present Dowager Countess of Essex. 



VELLUTI. SONTAG. 215 

Races, Chiswick, &c. The prima donna was in great 
request socially. The Duke of Devonshire danced 
with her at his own ball, where her beauty and grace 
made a great sensation. 

The director of the Italian Opera had determined 
to allow his artists the privilege of engaging singers 
only on condition that the concert should be held in 
the hall adjoining the theatre ; he also stipulated for 
a share of the receipts. Pixis consented to this 
arrangement, and gave a concert, where Sontag sang 
and Moscheles played. 

" July 8th. — To-day we attended a fashionable 
fete at Vauxhall, given on behalf of the poor Spanish 
and Italian refugees. The ( Battle of Waterloo 3 was 
performed, and the Duke saw himself admirably repre- 
sented. The evening concluded with a concert, in 
which both Pasta and Sontag sang." 

"July 19th. — Velluti's shrieks in the opera were 
absolutely unendurable ; his false intonation drove me 
wild. I may be severe upon him, but the wounds 
he inflicted were hardly to be cured by the flute-like 
voice of Sontag/'' 

" On one occasion (we quote Mrs. Moscheles 5 letter) 
we had the happiness of entertaining the famous 
Sontag at a large party at our own house — she was 
enchanting as usual. Sir Walter Scott, who happened to 
be in London, was present. lie was delighted at meeting 
Sontag, whose introduction to Sir Walter, on the eve 
of her appearing in the ' Donna del Lago/ was singu- 



216 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

larly well-timed. Lockhart, it is true, tells us in his 
biography that Sir Walter felt annoyed at being 
besieged by a crowd of flatterers and strangers, who 
made a pilgrimage to Abbotsford, and overwhelmed 
him with compliments,, their knowledge of his works 
being based possibly on a single attendance at the 
c Donna del Lago/ at the Italian Opera ; but in the 
presence of Sontag, the great man was all ears, and 
eyes too, I think. When she questioned him about 
her costume as the Lady of the Lake, he described to 
her with the utmost minuteness every fold of the 
plaid, and was greatly pleased when I produced a 
genuine satin clan plaid, the present of Lady Sinclair, 
whilst in Edinburgh, the loan of which I was delighted 
to promise to Sontag. He showed her the particular 
w r ay the brooch should be fastened at the shoulder, and 
would not allow any alteration. Henrietta had 
two worshippers that evening, the second being 
Clementi, who seemed as much fascinated as Scott. 
He got up from his chair and said, ' To-night I 
should like to play also/ The proposition was 
received with acclamation/'' " He extemporized with all 
the freshness of youth," writes Moscheles, " and we 
listened with intense delight, for Clementi very rarely 
played before company. You should have seen the 
ecstasy of the two old men, Scott and Clementi; they 
shook each other by the hand, took it in turns to 
flirt with Sontag, without seeming jealous of one 
another ; it was a pretty duet of joint admiration, of 



SONTAG. MARS. 217 

course the poet, musician, and songstress were the ob- 
served of all observers." 

On the 24th of July Sontag finished gloriously 
at the Opera, with the " Amenai'de." 

Moscheles composed, during the season, for Cramer 
and his niece, a four-hand Rondo in E flat, u La Belle 
Union," performed at the annual benefit concert of 
" Glorious John/'' He also wrote his G major sonata for 
pianoforte and flute. " I launched forth," he says, 
" my { Gems ä la Sontag/ and it was immediately 
caught hold of by my numerous pupils, and afterwards 
by the whole tribe of would-be pianists, attracted by 
my close imitation of the roulades and cadenzas 
of the illustrious Sontag." 

That delightful concert-singer Madame Stockhausen 
was, in this her second London season, a recognised 
favourite with the English public. She had now become 
completely mistress of the language, and was constantly 
heard in HandePs oratorios. The famous Mars, 
old in years, young in appearance and performance, 
still delighted every one with her acting. " None 
that saw her in the part of Valeric, or in the ( Ecolc 
des Vicillards/ can ever forget her." 

" To-day a strange episode varied my daily duty of 
lesson-giving," writes Moscheles ; " I appeared in a 
small court, amongst a wretched crowd of men and 
women who were sued for small debts. I myself 
figured as defendant, having (as it was said) refused 
to pay for an advertisement of my own concert. Of 



218 LIFE OE MOSCHELES. 

course the loss of time was more serious to me than 
paying at once the sum demanded, but I hate being 
cheated. I took up the matter more earnestly than 
the plaintiff reckoned on, but he was non- suited, as 
he could not even prove that he belonged to the news- 
paper which he pretended to represent." 

Moscheles and his family passed the month of Sep- 
tember very pleasantly at Hastings, and composed 
there a light piece written to order — u Strains of the 
Scotch Bards ;" giving it some importance afterwards 
by a dedication to Sir Walter Scott, whose answer, 
upon being requested to accept it, ran thus : — ■ 

"My dear Sir, — I regret that my absence upon 
short journeys from home should have caused your 
obliging proposal to inscribe the music of ' Donald 
Dim ' to me to remain some time unanswered. Be- 
lieve me, I feel obliged by the proposal, and will 
accept it with great pleasure. Tell my fair friend, 
Mrs. Moscheles, that I send my best compliments, 
and beg to retain a place in her recollection ; and 
when you see the fine old gentleman Mr. Clementi, 
will you oblige me by remembering me to him ? 
" I am always, dear Sir, 

" Your obliged humble servant, 

{( Walter Scott. 

" Abbotsford, Melrose, October 18." 

On his return to London, [Moscheles began to write 
his long-meditated Symphony in C, which he finished 



MATHEWS. PRESENT FROM ERARD. 219 

about the end of November. Mathews and Yates had 
taken a lease of the Adelphi Theatre. " Mathews," 
says Moscheles, " who is an immense favourite 
with the English public, delighted us with his inimi- 
table comic acting. The last piece — ( London and 
Paris' — with the steamer crossing the Channel, was now 
and then rather too spicy, but we nearly died with 
laughing." 

Moscheles plays at a concert in Brighton, but 
again complains of a wretched orchestra. 

In London, besides private teaching, he was fre- 
quently engaged as pianoforte instructor at the Royal 
Academy of Music, and attended the pupils' concerts 
in the Hanover Square Rooms. 

We read again : " Erard presented me to-day with 
a grand concert piano, of the value of 160 guineas. 
I certainly owe him my best thanks for such a pre- 
sent. Externally the instrument is all that can be 
wished for ; but the tone of the higher notes is some- 
what dry, and I find the touch still too heavy. My 
Clementi, therefore, still remains my favourite, although 
Erard's instruments have begun steadily to make their 
way. Madame de Rothschild, now that she has heard 
my Erard, wants to ii&est in one." 

Moscheles kept his Christmas in the good old 
German fashion; for we find allusions to the Christmas 
tree — so suggestive of absent friends and home asso- 
ciations. 



220 



CHAPTER XII. 

1829. 

moscheles' productions — fugitive pieces — expense of private 
concerts — domestic sorrows — visit of felix mendelssohn- 
bartholdy — the chevalier neukomm — a cinque-cento of 
vocalists — de b^riot — "troubadours" and "bohemian bro- 
thers" — artists' concerts — power of the italian opera — 
laporte — handel's "alts and galatea " — visit to Hamburg — 
reminiscences of a tour in denmark and sweden. 

IN reading musical biographies, we often meet with 
elaborate dissertations on the works of composers, 
with an abstruse analysis of the writer's " intentions." 
If we look for a parallel in the history of letters we 
find the commentators of Shakspeare ascribing to 
him intentions which do more credit to their ingenuity 
than to their judgment. Beethoven's works have un- 
dergone a similar ordeal. The great man wrote down 
simply what he thought and felt ; but since his death 
critics, in their fancied wisdonj, have interpreted his 
works in all manner of ways. Of course the sentiment 
expressed in the " Moonlight Sonata" affects most 
minds alike ; the " Eroica " is always majestic, but 
such sonatas as "Les Adieux," " 1/ Absence et le 
Retour/' are open to different reading, according to 



MOSCII ELES' COMPOSITIONS. 221 

the feelings of the executant, and will make a 
different impression upon each individual listener. 
" And so it should be," Mendelssohn used to say ; 
" if the composer can only move the imaginative 
power of his hearers, and call forth some one image, 
some one thought — it matters not what — he has 
attained his object." In accordance with this view 
we purposely abstain from attempting a critical 
analysis of Moscheles' compositions. Whatever their 
merits or defects, this is certain — that works which 
when first published made an impression, and are 
now listened to with delight and interest after a 
lapse of from thirty to forty and fifty years, must 
possess more than ephemeral value. Such com- 
positions are to be found in the G minor concerto 
(1820), the « Twenty-four Studies" (1825 and 1826), 
the " Hommage ä Handel," the Rondo in A, the 
E flat major Sonata, the " Sonata Melancolique," the 
" Recollections of Ireland," the three Allegri di 
Bravura, " La Force," " La Legerete, " Le Caprice," 
and others. 

From about the year 1810 Moscheles' appearances 
in public were less frequent than formerly. His later 
concertos (in C major, the fantastiqne, pathetiquc, and 
pastorale 1 ) did not become so popular as his earlier 
compositions, the proper readings of which he himself 
made known to the public. He used frequently to 
complain that people only played his G minor con- 
certo, the other seven being noways inferior in his 



222 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

estimation. He would have desired that his twelve 
grand characteristic studies, intended for practised 
artists, able to master their difficulties, should all 
have been played in turn, without exclusive pre- 
ference being given to the " Nursery Tale/'' Of 
these twelve studies, he thought the " Dream/' 
" Terpsichore," and others more especially adapted 
to the concert-room. 

As to the light fugitive pieces which publishers 
from time to time demanded of him, he says : " They 
are my poor-box ; with what they fetch I can sup- 
port many a poor devil in Germany who writes well 
and is ill-paid. I have raised the price to thirty 
guineas apiece, so that I may not be molested too 
frequently with such orders/'' 

We see the rate of remuneration current in those 
days, by the following account of payments made to 
artists for private concerts. Moschcles writes, " I 
had the management of Madame de Rothschild's con- 
certs, and paid on her account the following sums : — 
Madame Stockhausen, 35/. for two evenings ; M. de 
Beriot, 5/. for one; M. Mori (violin-player), 71. for 
one ; Mile. Pisaroni, 20/. for one ; Donzelli, 10/. for 
one; Curioni, 10/. for one; Schütz and wife, 15/. for 
one ; De Begnis, 25/. for two ; myself, 40/. for two ; 
making in all 167/. — a pretty little sum according to 
our German notions/' 

In January Moscheles, when playing at a concert 
in Bath, says : " Certainly I thought myself so much 



Mendelssohn's visit to England. 223 

out of practice that I doubted my success ; the public, 
however, thought otherwise." 

In the early spring of this year, Moscheles is deeply 
moved by domestic sorrow and anxiety. His eldest 
boy died on the 23rd of March, and the only remain- 
ing child was in delicate health during the whole 
winter. " The poor mother/'' he says in his diary, 
" knows nothing but anxiety, sorrow, and sleepless 
nights. One of our darlings is in his grave ; with 
God's help she will be spared her one remaining 
treasure. As a man I have a load of sorrow to bear, 
as an artist I belong to the public." Moscheles was 
spared the fresh sorrow that at one time seemed so 
imminent. Change of air and scene worked so bene- 
ficially on the child's health, that as early as June the 
parents were free from all anxiety, and able to enjoy 
the society of artistic friends who visited London in this 
year, and were carried off by Moscheles to spend their 
Sundays with him in the country. During this season 
Malibran reappeared, Pisaroni also was engaged at 
the Italian Opera, and Sontag earned fresh laurels ; 
but by far the most delightful and interesting visit of 
all was that of a young friend from Berlin — no other 
than Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, at that time a 
youth of nineteen years of age. " Felix's lather/' 
says Moscheles, " had asked mc in a letter if I thought, 
and believed, and counselled that his son should visit 
London, bringing some of his compositions with 
him, amongst them the Midsummer Night's Dream 



224 LIFE OE MOSCHELES. 

Overture. Well, I thought aud believed that the 
young man was a genius, so I counselled that he 
should come to us at Easter, and I promised with 
all my heart to introduce him to the great London 
world." 

Further on we read — " I took for him a lodging 
in 203, Portland Street, and I have enjoyed the 
purest happiness in his friendly and musical inter- 
course. As a friend, he is of untold value ; cheerful, 
yet full of sympathy with us in our recent loss, and 
our anxiety for the frail treasure still left to us ; he is 
always ready to exchange the attractions of London 
for our rural solitude, where his society acts like 
healing balm on our wounded spirits. He seems to 
have set himself the task of compensating us for our 
sufferings. How delightful it is, when he brings 
some of his new compositions, and after playing 
them, waits with childlike modesty for an expres- 
sion of my opinion. Any other would long since 
have become aware that in him I recognise my 
own master, and that I am in raptures where he 
is expecting to be sharply criticised. Do what I 
will to give him a correct view and appreciation 
of our relative positions, he always insists on sub- 
ordinating himself to me as his teacher. The 
brilliant reception given to the public perfor- 
mance of his Midsummer Night's Dream Overture 
did not dazzle him. ( I must do better in every- 
thing/ was his motto ; and to my praises he merely 



MENDELSSOHN. — NEUKOMM. 225 

answered : ' Do you like it ? Well, I am glad 
of that/ He showed me the manuscript of his 
sacred cantata on a chorale in A minor ; an un- 
published chorus in sixteen parts, ' Hora est / and 
a stringed quartet in A minor. He was always fond 
of bending his genius to the composition of little 
pieces — vocal or instrumental — as presents to his 
friends." In Moscheles' album, for instance, he 
wrote a charming piece, entitled " Perpetuum Mobile " 
(in C major) ; and another day brought the pretty 

Miss C an English ballad, written expressly for 

her, &c. &c. 

At the same time with Mendelssohn there ap- 
peared in England the Chevalier Neukomm, Haydn's 
pupil, a noble-minded and highly cultivated man, 
and the most loyal of friends ; but, unfortunately, 
without artistic genius ; he was merely a solid, well- 
intentioned, and correct composer, "with a pitiful 
lack of Attic salt/' says Moschelcs. His oratorios, 
the " Ten Commandments " and " Christ/' were 
performed, and he had written some effective things, 
such as the " Midnight Review," for the favourite 
singers Braham and Phillips. At first these pieces 
roused the audience to enthusiasm j but in the long 
run they failed to obtain for the composer the lasting 
recognition of an English public, which is, generally 
speaking, faithful in its devotion to artists. 

Mendelssohn and Ncukomm, who often met in the 
quiet home of Moschelcs, became very friendly \ their 

VOL. I. Q 



226 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

mutual appreciation, however, being confined to tho 
social virtues of one another ; for Neukomm, a tame 
musician, found, by force of contrast, his friend 
Mendelssohn too impetuous, noisy, and lavish in 
the use of wind-instruments, too exaggerated in his 
Tempi, too restless in his playing ; whereas Men- 
delssohn would turn on his heel, exclaiming in a 
fit of youthful impatience, " If only that excellent 
man Neukomm would write better music ! He speaks 
so ably, his language and letters are so choice, and 
yet his music — how commonplace \" 

Fetis, and his lectures upon music, were equally 
distasteful to Mendelssohn. " What is the good of 
talking so much about it ? " he says ; " it is better to 
write well; that is the chief matter. What is the 
good of this embodiment of ' la musique mise ä la 
portee de tout le monde/ lectured on in French to an 
English audience, who certainly understand only half 
of the technical expressions ; and perhaps do not 
realize for the lecturer one-half of the receipts he 
expects ? w Fetis, at this time, joined Moscheles in 
sketching the plan for the " Methode des Methodes/" 
in the joint publication of which, Fetis' s skill as a 
linguist was of the greatest service to Moscheles, as 
he translated into excellent French his friend's 
musical treatise on the study and higher branches of 
pianoforte playing. 

In the world of vocalists there was an " absolute 
cinque-cento," to quote Moscheles' own words, " for 



DE BERJOT. — MADAME DULCKEN. 227 

besides Malibran, Sontag, and Pisaroni, we have 
Madame Stockhausen, Camporese, Velluti, Donzelli, 
and other singers. In addition to these, a German 
opera company, under Schütz, he and his wife are 
excellent singers." Sontag, always kind and charit- 
able, gave a et concert monstre }% on the 13th of July, 
for the benefit of the sufferers by the inundation in 
Silesia, and every one lent a helping hand. Men- 
delssohn's " Overture to a Midsummer Night's Dream" 
was given for the second time, and more vehemently 
applauded than before. His double Concerto, too, in 
E major (manuscript), which Moscheles played with 
him, was a great success. The receipts amounted to 
500/. 

The favourite violinist of this season, beyond all 
question, was De Beriot — then at the very zenith 
of his power. His latest composition, the B minor 
Concerto, written after his marriage to the unrivalled 
Malibran, and possibly with her aid, was more in- 
teresting than his former bravura pieces. With regard 
to pianoforte players, the most important of the new- 
comers was Madame Dulckcn, the highly-gifted and 
distinguished sister of Conccrt-mcister Ferdinand 
David. She left Hamburg to settle in London, and 
was welcomed by all genuine artists and connoisseurs. 
The " one-shilling " performances were represented 
by the so-called "troubadours" and "Bohemian 
brothers,'' the former French, the latter village 
musicians from Bohemia. These performers, common- 

q2 



22 S LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

place as they were, reaped a plentiful harvest for their 
employers, Messrs. Bochsa and Logan. 

" We artists fare worse/' says Moscheles, in 
noticing these exhibitions ; " we look to something 
more than mere gain, regarding our concerts as the 
means of producing our newest works before large 
musical audiences, and subjecting them, year after 
year, to the ordeal of criticism at the hands of compe- 
tent judges. The speculation of Laporte, the Opera 
Director, places a great stumbling-block in our way." 

The state of things was this. Those artists who had 
annual concerts were anxious to let their patrons hear 
the best dramatic singers, and accordingly often 
engaged them with a view of enhancing the attrac- 
tions of their programme. 

Laporte, who had become in 1828 the lessee of Her 
Majesty's Theatre, was peremptory in his dealings 
with concert-givers, his dictum being : " Hire my opera 
concert-hall, or you must do without my singers/' and 
the high price he put upon this arrangement made the 
acceptance a very difficult matter. The pill of course 
was sugared over with many honeyed French con- 
versational terms and phrases, but Bochsa, the 
u manager's manager," knew how to translate them 
into good English, whilst negotiating with Moscheles 
behind the scenes during the opera performance — the 
only time one was tolerably sure of meeting with these 
gentlemen. Moscheles had several novelties ready for 
his concert, a Symphony, a Fantasia, <( Strains of the 



LAPORTE. — BOCHSA. — ZÜCCHELLI. 229 

Scotch Bards," which, from being dedicated to Sir Walter 
Scott, was sure to excite great interest ; " and yet," 
he says, " I was obliged, like the rest of us, to have 
Italian singers, and to experience all the endless worry 
of negotiating their costly services ; I hired Laporte's 
concert-room at great expense — not only this, I had 
to offer the owner of the Argyll Rooms, which I had 
already engaged, a forfeit of 10/. This he con- 
temptuously refused, and threatened me with a lawsuit ; 
I always had a wholesome dread of lawsuits, and so I 
consulted a legal friend, who at last persuaded the 
man to accept the 10//' Laportc knew his advantages 
only too well ; he was master of the position, virtually 
monopolizing the services of Malibran and Sontag, the 
idols of the public. Indeed, the power of the Italian 
Opera was such that none of the national theatres 
could compete with it. 

We read on the 22nd of June : — " One of the 
choicest entertainments this season was the dramatized 
representation of Handel's ' Acis and Galatea/ per- 
formed at Bochsa's concert ; the music allotted to the 
chief characters was admirably sung by Miss Paton 
and Braham ; Zucchelli, with a gigantic eye in the 
middle of his forehead, was a very good Polyphemus. 
In spite of his Italian name, he is an Englishman by 
birth, and, loyal to his Ilandclian traditions, gave 
every word and note of that master's music in the 
classical and orthodox manner. What else had we? 
Next in order after Handel's music, the Grave- scene 



230 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

from l Romeo and Giulietta/ exquisitely sung in Italian, 
by Sontag and Malibran, and for a finale, that German 
trifle the c Pastoral Symphony •/ but that I missed, for 
an overdose of music is not good for the health/'' 

On the 31st of July, when the Moscheles were 
free to embark from England for Hamburg, he ex- 
claims : " Who so happy as we ? — we leave the chronic 
miseries of concerts and the whole season behind us, 
and join our friends and relations, amongst whom, if 
sorrow for our recent loss be reawakened, we shall 
find comfort and sympathy." Moscheles during this 
holiday planned several sketches for his later com- 
positions. 

Pressing offers were made to Moscheles to give 
concerts, but he refused them as being foreign to the 
purpose of his visit to Hamburg. The German theatre, 
however, now that he and his wife had become half 
Anglicized, offered much that was novel and attractive ; 
and they were enchanted with Auber's " Stumme 
von Portici," the cast including Cornet and the 
younger Fräulein Schröder, the sister of Devrient. 

Moscheles travelled alone to Copenhagen ; and we 
insert some passages from letters written to his wife 
during his two months' absence. 

" Schleswig, Sept. 27, 1829. The entire road 
hither is extremely like the Lüneburger heath. At 
times the carriage was all but upset, but I should 
only have landed on the sand. I have wandered 
through Schleswig, which in length and narrowness i» 



MUSICAL PARTY AT COPENHAGEN. 231 

only to be compared to miles of German sausages. 
Ahlefeld, the Kammerherr, was very friendly, but to 
give a concert here, and realize from sixty to seventy 
thalers, would be a ridiculous waste of time. So the 
horses are put to, and I shall drive on to Flensburg." 
On the 29th of September he crosses the Little 
Belt, but, no steamer being ready, is forced to pass 
a long dull day (30th) at Nyborg. On the 2nd of 
October he passes the Great Belt, and after a night's 
journey reaches Copenhagen. After describing his 
delight with the beauties of the place and its art 
treasures, he observes : " I heard for the first time 
Weyse, the musical theorist, and a perfect idol here, 
play an extempore fugue upon the organ in the 
Frauen Kirche. When it was over, I went home with 
him, and read several of his interesting works. I also 
made the acquaintance of Kuhlau, the clever composer. 
Both these artists amuse themselves by constructing 
musical canons in the shape of riddles, and by finding 
their solution. At a party given by Mr. W., I met 
not only these two men, but also the poet Oehlen- 
schlägcr, and all the connoisseurs and art critics of the 
place. Kuhlau and others played, and then came my 
solo. When urged to improvise, I begged to hear 
Weyse, who could not be prevailed upon, so to the 
piano I went, and found myself, as it were, fenced in 
by a wall of listeners, who were silent as death, 
whilst I was collecting my thoughts ; I would try 
to be learned as Kuhlau and Weyse, interesting 



232 LIFE OJF MOSCHELES. 

in harmony, plaintive and sentimental, and I would 
wind up with a storm of bravura passages. I must 
have succeeded, for the burst of applause was uni- 
sono, and the astonishment on the faces of all was 
such as neither you nor I have ever witnessed. Old 
Professor Schall fell on my neck and kissed me (' for 
shame \' the English would say). Kuhlau and Weyse 
besieged me till I gasped for breath. For shame ! I 
say to myself, to be blowing my own trumpet in this 
way ; but for whom am I writing ? This success 
promises well for my concert ; but another fortnight 
must elapse before that can come off; a second or a 
third is out of "the question. I might have to wait 
till 1830. It can't be done ! 

" 1 had to play before the Court ; and here I give 

you the programme and all particulars "VYhen 

my solo and duet with Guillou were finished, and I 
was asked to improvise, the old Queen came up, and 
making a thousand excuses, hoping she would not be 
in the way, &c, sat by my side at the piano, where 
she was soon joined by the King. I let myself go 
like a racehorse — fire, passion, even coquettishness — 
I tried everything to act on the royal nerves. First 
of all, I Rossinified a little, for I knew that the 
Rossini fever rages at the Court here. Then I was a 
Dane, and worked up some national melodies. The 
shouts of applause made me desperately confident, and 
I wound up with the Danish ' God save the King* 
( f Kong Christian 3 ). When I had finished I leave 



LETTER FROM GOTHENBURG. 233 

you to imagine the rest, only it certainly was a novelty 
to see a King running about amongst the musical 
veterans present, to express his astonishment and hear 
them confirm it." 

The next letter is from Helsingborg, on the way to 
Gothenburg, where Moscheles, instead of waiting at 
Copenhagen, wishes to give a concert. " The passage 
from Copenhagen to Elsinore took six and a half hours, 
and three-quarters of an hour in the afternoon to cross 
the Sound. Here I was advised to hire a carriage, 
and a compound of coachman and servant, styled a 
1 Husar/ for the journey to Gothenburg. ' Glück- 
licher Prinz/ I can call myself as usual, for I have 
the most lovely weather." 

From Gothenburg he writes : " The day before 
yesterday, after despatching my few lines from Helsing- 
borg, I had a very successful although fatiguing journey. 
My hired carriage, as they called it, was nothing more 
than a small seat, attached to a four-wheeled car. My 
box and portmanteau I had between my legs. I was 
knocked and thumped about most unmercifully. I could 
not make out a word my talkative Husar said, but I could 
converse all the more freely with lovely nature, glorious 
in every climate and under every zone ; here on the 
shores of the Cattcgat displaying an endless variety of 
romantic rocky scenery, interspersed with noble forests. 
Generally speaking, the roads were good ; a notice sent 
on twelve hours before insured us fresh relays of horses, 
but, alas ! we got the start at Kungsbacka, and found 



234 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

out to our dismay that we had in consequence two 
hours to wait. The comforts of the hostelry consisted of 
a sort of measly-looking biscuit, and a tallow candle, at 
which I lighted my cigar, then on we went again in the 
dark and rainy night. A halt at eleven o'clock, but 
not at Gothenburg, merely to fetch an extra horse, 
as we had a stiff mountain pass before us. At one 
o'clock, however, the welcome light greeted us from 
the lantern at the Gothenburg Custom House, more 
welcome than the police search I had to submit to on 
alighting. After tremendous knocking at ' Blone's 
Hus/ we aroused a servant girl from her slumbers, but 
although my bed had been ordered beforehand, all I 
could get was a room on the topmost story, where my 
head touched the ceiling. To my question whether I 
could not have an empty room on the first story I was 
answered by a Swedish shrug of the shoulders, which 
was Greek to me. I had a fire lit in my garret, 
allowed the dense smoke to fill it, wrapped myself up 
in my furs, and went to bed. My bad temper vanished 
at the thought of you. Th. Hell's poem ' Macht der 
Frauen' (Woman's Power), which I lighted on acci- 
dentally, expressed sympathetically my own thoughts. 
This morning I got the identical rooms I saw last night, 
they had been bespoken for me. My concert is adver- 
tised and arranged for the 27th, three days hence, and 
immediately afterwards I go back again to Copenhagen. 
I am incessantly occupied with calculations about the 
Danish and Swedish postal arrangements, to see that 



A SWEDISH DINNER-PARTY. 235 

our correspondence may not be interrupted. In a 
foreign town like this, I always mount the ramparts, 
from which I can command a view over the town : 
how awfully grand these precipices and torn fragments 
of rock around the harbour, and actually in it ! The 
winding river 'Göta-Elf ' reminded me of our Elbe, and 
I was no longer alone. . . . The city has spacious streets 
and squares, one of which really reminds one of the 
Linden. The weather is clear and beautiful/'' 

He goes on to tell of two great families, who in 
all musical matters are the despots of the place, and 
of course rivals. " One has a Clementi piano, and 
the other a Graf. Which shall I choose for my con- 
cert ? That is c the burning question/ and I answer 
it by playing on both. Before the concert I attended 
a real Swedish dinner. The host, a regular character, 
a fit subject for Hogarth, did the honours at his large 
dinner party in the queerest fashion, as you will 
see. First, I must tell you that, before the company 
sat down, schnaps and herring were relished by gentle- 
men, standing at a side table, only three glasses being 
allowed for twenty- five people. We had veal, pike, 
and soup to begin with, then roast goose, plum- 
pudding, and splendid fruit for dessert. My ' original ' 
is a stumpy man, over sixty years of age, with spark- 
ling eyes peering out from under his greyish-brow u 
wig, his upper teeth gone, four under teeth remain- 
ing as a sort of palisade to his enormous, pendent, 
moist under-lip. 1 [e starts every topic of conversation, 



236 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

entirely regardless of all the notabilities present, 
whilst his wife must have signed a silence-clause in her 
marriage contract. Herr S. was so full of the great 
event of seeing Professor Moscheles in Gothenburg, 
and beneath his own roof, that he continued to shower 
down praises on the Professor in the most ridiculous 
style. He too has travelled in foreign parts, there to 
learn (or unlearn) manners — his wanderings are ä la 
Wilhelm Meister, he is as sentimental as Sterne ; he 
has been in England, and feels bound to toast 
( the Professor/ I give you a slight sample, as faith- 
fully as I can, of his rigmarole nonsensical speech : 
6 Gentlemen, would it be bold, may I with some 
confidence use my privilege as master of the house, 
and make a speech ? Heaven defend that I enjoy 
the honour and the chance — you, my honoured 
friends, who know me as a plain honest man to 
speak — the chance, do I say ? What is chance ? 
Gothenburg enjoys the honour, &c/ Here followed 
the most silly compliments to myself, and then 
again, ' Heaven defend, without trenching too near 
on the modesty of this man — all admiration set 
apart — will, no doubt, make a lasting impression. 
Long may he live, the master of music in the kingdom 
of the beautiful/ You can imagine my state of mind 
on hearing such a farrago of nonsense ; I had to bite 
my tongue to prevent myself from laughing. The 
Governor, the Rath, the Commandant of the place, 
and the other guests, did not seem at all surprised ; 



AN AFTER-DINNER SPEECH. 237 

they must know him. When he had finished his 
speech, a part song was performed by one amateur, 
c the refrain/ suggested by the occasion, always being 
the words : ( Es lebe der Meister/ There was a 
jingling of glasses as I rose from my chair to return 
thanks, but hardly had I said that it was no accident 
that brought me there, but a wish on my part to be 
heard by the art-loving public in Gothenburg, when 
Herr S. cut me short by modestly interrupting me 
with : c Heaven defend that the Professor thinks 
that I think that accident (for everything in the 
world is accident) has given us, not him, the 
happiness of seeing a man in our walls whose modesty 
— Heaven defend — I should offend/ More trash 
followed. Then the ladies left us, and the gentlemen 
remained sitting round an enormous bowl of cold 
bishop. Our host's silly tongue never stopped wagging. 
Songs were sung, they did not much edify me ; as far 
as I could I remained a passive spectator. After 
leaving the spacious dining-hall, we passed through 
several elegant salons, to a room where the Clementi 
piano stood, and I was obliged to extemporize. This I 
did in a way to humour the particular kind of 
audience ; and you may easily guess the result. 
Schwartz, the pianoforte teacher, and Bärnroth, organist 
of the Cathedral, proposed that I should play on the 
organ. This I did the following afternoon, in the 
presence of the same company. I dashed into it, and 
worked away at the pedals as though I had Vestris's feet. 



238 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

" My concert was attended by every one with any 
real or fancied taste or ear for music, so that I had 
a brilliant and crowded audience. You will see the 
programme in the newspaper. In obedience to a 
challenge from the company, I improvised on Swedish 
airs, which were given to me in writing. I think I 
must have been pretty successful, for they cheered 
me lustily, and nocked round me on all sides. All 
invitations after the concert I firmly refused, for I 
want to get back as fast as I can. . . . To-night, in spite 
of all my hurry, I must remain in Helsingborg, where 
I am writing to you. I have sent you a short ex- 
tract from my last letter by another and a shorter 
route than usual, that I may insure your hearing 
from me." 

Moscheles would not go to Stockholm, although 
he had half promised to play there ; travelling alone 
was not at all to his taste. From Copenhagen he 
afterwards writes : " I can't think of a second concert 
here, as it would cost a whole fortnight of my time ; 
consequently there is a great rush to secure seats at 
my one public performance. 

" I have seen the favourite Liederspiel ' Elverhoy ' 
(founded on an old Danish fable, with characteristic 
songs and choruses) and most tastefully arranged by 
Kuhlau. The overture, which is a compendium of all 
the music that follows, pleased me exceedingly. I have 
again paid a two hours' visit to Weyse, for I think 
him the most interesting person here; he entertained 



WEYSE. KUHLAU. 239 

me with learned dissertations on art, considered tech- 
nically and aesthetically. His fugues are good, his 
enigma canons really masterly. To-morrow he comes 
to me, and we shall frequently exchange visits."" 

On the 10th of November he writes from Copen- 
hagen : " Yesterday was a memorable day in my 
calendar. I was literally besieged from eight o'clock 
in the morning until six in the evening. People 
scrambled to get the most expensive boxes, and almost 
went on their knees for single tickets ; many had to 
pocket their money again, for no more tickets were 
to be had, and I advertised to-day that no money 
would be taken at the doors. Everything has been 
sold at double prices ; the result is a net profit of 
1500 thalers. Notwithstanding, I should lose too 
much time were I to give a second concert, as Guillou 
and Milder are fighting for the only possible nights. 
They both gave their first concerts at the usual prices, 
and had a good attendance. What can I say about 
my reception ? Nothing ; you can guess what it 
was like. Well, the applause grew louder and 
louder. In spite of my own disloyalty towards the 
Alexander Variations, I was obliged to play them, as 
you will see by the programme herein enclosed ; 
and the Improvisation — well, on that subject I cannot 
write. Guillou, who was going to give his second 
concert at the usual prices, offered me to join him, 
and wc would have double prices. It only made 
three days difference to me, so I accepted the offer. 



240 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

Well, these three days we can bear like the rest, can't 
we ? The concert is announced in G/s name, with 
my assistance." 

Later on he writes : " The same scene enacted at 
my last concert has now repeated itself, and that too 
directly the first announcement appeared. Every- 
thing again sold off at double prices j 641 thalers 
came to my share. Besides this, I shall turn snuff- 
taker, for His Majesty honoured me with the present 
of a gold enamelled box. Prince Christian sent me a 

diamond ring ; Frau a gold watch-chain ; I 

had besides all sorts of complimentary messages from 
the Court." 

The month of December was spent in Hamburg, 
and at the close of the year we find Moscheles in 
Paiis. 



241 



CHAPTER XIII. 

1830—1831. 

AN ACCIDENT — HUMMEL— MADAME MALIBBAN — MUSIC IN ENGLAND — 
FAILURE OF BEETHOVEN'S NINTH SYMPHONY — ERARD's PIANOS — 
HENRY LITOLFF — NEUKOMM — PHILHARMONIC CONCERTS — FIRST 
RAILWAY JOURNEY — OPERATIC CELEBRITIES — FIELD'S RETURN TO 
LONDON — PAGANINI — PRODIGIES FROM THE CONTINENT — VISITS 
OF INTIMATE FRIENDS — THE REFORM AGITATION — A MUSICAL 
FESTIVAL — CELEBRATION OF CHRISTMAS. 

AFTER the first six weeks, spent happily in Paris, 
the family returned to London. There Moscheles 
met with an accident. He was thrown from his 
carriage, but, however serious the accident at first ap- 
peared, fears of any permanent injury happily proved 
groundless. Scarcely was his wife relieved from 
anxiety on his account, when her serious illness (after 
the birth of a second daughter) weighed heavily on 
his mind for nearly three months. No wonder that 
in the diary there is a comparative scantiness of 
musical incident, when measured by the richer harvest 
of former years. 

" Hummel is here, he intends giving a concert, 
and happily I can distribute many of his tickets amongst 
my pupils. I wish I could have talked him over, and 

VOL. I. K 



242 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

prevented his appending so curious a notice to 
his advertisement ; it was to this effect : c People 
were not to suppose he would play at the Phil- 
harmonic Concert ; only in case a very profitable 
engagement were offered him, could he be heard any- 
where except at his own concert/ He hoped by this 
announcement to undeceive the frequenters of the 
Philharmonic who might reckon on hearing him 
there, without going to his own concert. A few days 
later, at Malibran's matinee, he made a mistake, in 
improvising on ' God save the King/ for whilst 
George IV. was still lying dead and unburied, people 
hardly thought of William TV. For this he was taken to 
task by the public and the press, and, generally speak- 
ing, he added nothing to the well-deserved laurels he 
had gathered in Vienna. It was noticeable that he 
began to dislike trouble and exertion, for he possessed 
no longer the elasticity requisite for plunging suc- 
cessfully into the whirl and maze of London life ; 
besides that, England, proud of Cramer, discovered 
that his legato was equal to HummeFs, and pre- 
ferred native to foreign talent. Hummel, annoyed 
possibly at seeing this view adopted by many of the 
newspapers, refused when asked by Cramer to play a 
duet with him at his concert, and this refusal created 
an unpleasant feeling against him. At that time 
Malibran's genius and sad fate attracted the liveliest 
sympathy. Married in very early years to a husband 
who had been forced upon her, but liberated afterwards 



MALI BRAN, DE BERIOT. 243 

hy special favour of the Pope, she had clung to De 
Beriot with true devotion, and now appeared in London 
as his wife; but, in this marriage also, hers was the 
unselfish, self-sacrificing, part; for out of affection for 
her husband she not only sang in the opera, but, after 
the fatigues of performance at the theatre, appeared 
at private or public concerts, cc and/' says Moscheles, 
(( she always sings exquisitely, and with true inspira- 
tion ; she is never the mere vocalist, but a musical 
genius. If obliged to repeat a cavatina, as is gene- 
rally the case, she improvises new passages more 
beautiful and original than the first, unsurpassable as 
they seemed. Her very smile captivates the orchestra 
and conductor, and she kindles with a spark of her 
own spirit the most inanimate of orchestral players. 
Of this fire she has such a quantity in reserve, that 
she can scatter it about without harm to herself. 
Some of her lightnings she has darted upon De 
Beriot's smooth, finished, but occasionally lukewarm 
performance, and I plainly enough see Madame in 
Monsieur's ' B minor Concerto/ " 

In a season so beset with domestic anxieties, Mos- 
cheles could think of no serious original composi- 
tions, but was obliged in pursuance of a contract to 
finish some of his light fashionable pieces, such as 
the " Gems a la Malibran ;" a light pot-pourri of her 
most popular songs, written in the closest possible 
imitation of her original l fioriturc/ which Moscheles 
had committed to memory. On the eve of his cwn 

R 2 



244 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

concert already advertised, and with a view of bring- 
ing out some novelty, he put together within a few 
days his " Recollections of Denmark/' the echo of 
his travels in that country ; and these national 
melodies lost none of their effect by the composer's 
treatment. 

We find constant complaints this year about the 
condition of music. " It is a mistake to give at every 
Philharmonic Concert two symphonies and two over- 
tures, besides two grand instrumental and four vocal 
pieces. I never can enjoy more than half/' Another 
time we read : " Beethoven's Ninth Symphony failed ! 
What am I to think of this ? Must the fault be laid 
at the director's door? Are the orchestral players or 
the public to blame ? I do not know ; but things 
shall not remain so." And as a fact they did not re- 
main so, for when the Directors, after this and another 
abortive attempt in the year 1824, determined never to 
produce the work again, persuading themselves into 
the belief that the deaf composer had written some 
senseless trash because he never heard it, the German 
press beat the alarm so furiously and lashed so 
mercilessly the depreciators of this colossal work, 
that the production and proper appreciation of it in 
England was made a point of honour. It took several 
years to corjvey to the English public the correct 
perception and appreciation of this Symphony, and 
later on we shall see that the Philharmonic Society 
turned to Moscheles for directing the study and re- 



FAILURE OF BEETHOVEN^ NINTH SYMPHONY. 245 

hearsals of the work, and making it accessible to the 
public. This once done, the Symphony maintained 
its place in the programmes of the Society. 

Looking further on in the diary, we find the follow- 
ing notice : — " What musical follies are daily perpe- 
trated, for one shilling a head, in the Egyptian Hall 1 
Michael Boai, a German, who hits his chin with 
his fists, producing thereby sounds in which a tune is 
discernible and variations thereon, and an English- 
man who pretends he can produce two tones at once 
by humming like a clarionet and muttering a bass tone 
simultaneously. What rubbish all this ! Equally 
ineffective is a band of Russian horn-music, each 
member having a reed-pipe capable of producing 
but one note, which, in the performance of pieces, 
he brought in with unerring precision." 

Important in the history of pianoforte-playing is 
the fact that Erard's pianos became very popular, 
having attained this year a great excellence. " The 
touch in particular is vastly improved, I begin to 
revel in these instruments." 

When the season was over the family went to Ryde, 
in the Isle of Wight, the Revolution in Paris inter- 
fering with their intended visit to that city. "Charles X. 
set aside for Louis Philippe, and now an exile with 
his family at Castle Lulworth. What a change ! " 
At Hyde, where Moschelcs revelled in his Erard 
piano, he composed the " Recollections of England/' 
which he dedicated to Queen Adelaide, and the 



246 LIFE OE MOSCHELES. 

C minor Trio., dedicated to Cherubini. In the latter 
half of the autumn Mosclieles moved to 3, Chester 
Place, Regent's Park, where he lived for more than 
sixteen years, before he finally quitted England and 
settled in Leipzig. At one of the first parties given 
in his new house, the new Trio was played, with 
Lindley and Cramer, before many enthusiastic friends, 
and Moscheles' home henceforth became a place 
where artists were always welcome. With so hind 
a host — himself free from envy and jealousy — they 
could forget all rivalry and meet on neutral ground. 
In January of 1831 Moscheles made a short pro- 
fessional tour to the provinces (York, Leeds, Derby), 
where he laboured to improve much that was defective 
in the condition of music. 

We have seen how Moscheles, starting as a bravura 
player, gradually took broader views of his art both 
as a composer and player. His powers steadily 
matured, and this year we find in his compositions 
and execution a depth of feeling and expression in 
advance of former years ; witness the adagio of his 
Concerto in C major, written about this time, and 
the new Trio, upon hearing which Hummel said that 
no modern pianoforte player but Moscheles could 
write such an adagio. It should, however, be stated 
here that this progress, although mainly originating 
with Moscheles himself, was greatly favoured by 
the improvements made in Erard's pianos ; their 
organ-like tone and full resonant sounds gave Mos- 



HENRY LITOLFF. NEUKOMM. 24? 

cheles such pleasure that no doubt he had every in- 
centive to bring into relief these great excellences, 
and display them in his adagios. " A very violon* 
cello/'' he used to say, praising the tone, which he 
could prolong without using the pedals ; to the ex- 
cessive use of these he had a rooted aversion. u A 
good player/' he used to say, " must only rarely use 
the assistance of either pedal, otherwise he misuses 
it." Frequently he would listen to an excellent piano- 
forte player, praise him in many respects, adding, " I 
wish he had not his feet so perpetually upon the 
pedals. All effects now it seems must be produced by 
the feet — what is the good of people having hands ? 
it is just as if a good rider wanted for ever to use spurs." 

Amongst his pupils of those days was Henry 
Litolff, then a boy of ten years of age, who was in- 
troduced to him by his friend Collard as a poor, 
clever, but rather neglected child. Moscheles imme- 
diately recognised his talent. His father — an Alsa- 
tian, who with difficulty supported his large family by 
playing dance-music — was too poor to have a piano 
for his son Henry, who practised in Collard's ware- 
house, and was so well prepared at every lesson that 
he delighted and surprised Moscheles with the playing 
of his Studies and Concertos. 

The leading musical star on the dreary horizon of 
this winter's season in London was Neu komm. He 
had written for the impending Philharmonic Concerts 
a new Symphony in E flat major, which, according to 



248 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

Moscheles, was u lacking in Attic salt f and yet in 
the course of this year he was destined to achieve 
great popularity, which he owed to some extent to 
some spirited verses by Barry Cornwall. u David's 
Lament for Absalom/' declaimed in deep tragic tones 
by Braham, and " The Sea/' by Phillips, given with 
all the spirit due to a national song, were frequently 
items in the programme, but so powerful an im- 
pression was made by the " Midnight Review/' that 
Moscheles was obliged to write a Fantasia upon it. 
This production, regarded by its author as a step-child, 
was called by his pupils " charming" and "delightful," 
and was played by many a fair lady. About this time 
Neukomm's more serious works were given, and his 
oratorio the "Ten Commandments" put into rehearsal 
for the musical festival at Derby in September, after 
having been given with the greatest applause by the 
Classical Harmonic Society in London. A performance 
of the work on a small scale was arranged at Moscheles' 
house, with Madame Stockhausen and Clara Novello 
for the solo singers. Moscheles, who appreciated the 
high musical cultivation and artistic aims of his 
friend, says of him : " I am sorry he writes such an 
inordinate quantity of music, and carries out the prin- 
ciple which he advocates : that one must be writing 
daily. What becomes then of inspiration, which 
alone shields one from vulgarity ?" Neukomm's 
society was highly prized in Moscheles' household, 
where he went by the name of the " Encyclopaedia /' 



FIRST RAILWAY JOURNEY. 249 

for whoever wanted information on any subject was 
sure to get it from him. 

In criticising the Philharmonic Concerts of this year 
Moscheles finds fault with the " conductor still sitting 
at the piano, and turning over the leaves of his score ; 
without a baton of course he has no influence over 
the band, which is under the sole command of the 
first violin — a process leading to constant unsteadi- 
ness in the performance of large orchestral works. 
In the programmes the most heterogeneous things 
are often huddled together, orchestral works alter- 
nating with chamber music ; then again, we have the 
first part of Spohr's ' Last Judgment ' and a miscel- 
laneous second part by other composers. That doesn't 
suit a German ear; what would Spohr say to 
it?" 

In February Moscheles, on a professional tour in 
the north of England, speaks of his first railway 
journey. " On the 18th I went by rail from Man- 
chester to Liverpool ; the fare was five shillings. 
At 130 I mounted one of the omnibuses, which 
carried all passengers gratis to the great building 
called the l station/ Eight to ten carriages, each 
about as long as an omnibus, are joined closely to one 
another ; each carriage contains twelve places, with 
scats like comfortable arm-chairs ; at a given signal 
every traveller takes his place, which is marked with 
the number of his ticket, and the railway guards lock 
the carriages. Then, and not before, the engine is at- 



250 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

tached to the foremost carriage ; the motion, although 
one seems to fly, is hardly perceptible, and the 
traveller is amazed when he looks out of the win- 
dow and observes at what incredible speed the train 
approaches the distant object and suddenly whirls 
by it. Words cannot describe the impression made 
on me by this steam excursion on the first railway 
made in England, and the transports I felt with an 
invention that seemed to me little short of magic. 
The famous engineer, Sir John Stephenson, has 
realized his project amidst untold struggles and diffi- 
culties." 

Coming back to London, he reports of his visit to 
the theatre. " A new opera by Pacini — f Pompeii ;' 
the beautiful scenery is the only part I cared for, the 
horrors of the night of the city's destruction being 
represented in a masterly way." 

Then again : " Saw Kean as Richard the Third ; 
he makes one shiver in one's shoes, but rants too 
much — perhaps because he is too old, and yet deter- 
mined to make his points." 

He is enthusiastic on the subject of Pasta and her 
magnificent acting. " The voice, at first veiled, comes 
out triumphantly at a later stage, like the sun breaking 
through the mist. 

" Lablache, with the grandest of all voices — the 
' voce sul labbro' — his drollery, especially in the ' Bar- 
biere/ and his deaf old man in the Matrimonio 
Segreto, can never be surpassed. Rubini, too, is 



TAGLIONI. — FIELD. 251 

exquisite ; the ballet of ' Kenilworth/ representing 
the whole of Scott's romance, is beautifully put upon 
the stage. Taglioni, in every ballet in which she 
appears, is as ladylike as she is graceful, a danseuse 
quite unique and enslaving every one." . 

Moscheles says of Field, who after a twenty-five 
years' absence appeared once more in London : " His 
legato playing delights me, but his compositions are 
not at all to my taste ; nothing can afford a more 
glaring contrast than a Field's ( Nocturne ' and a 
Field's manners, which are often of the cynical order. 
There was such a commotion yesterday amongst the 
ladies, when at a party he drew from his pocket a minia- 
ture portrait of his wife, and loudly proclaimed the fact 
that she had been his pupil, and that he had only married 
her because she never paid for her lessons, and he knew 
she never would. He also bragged of going to sleep 
whilst giving lessons to the ladies of St. Petersburg, 
adding that they would often rouse him with the ques- 
tion, ' What does one pay twenty roubles an hour for, 
if you go to sleep V He played to us a good deal in 
the evening ; the delicacy and elegance, as well as the 
beauty of his touch, are admirable, but he lacks spirit 
and accent, as well as light and shade, and has no 
depth of feeling." 

At evening parties Moscheles had to endure a great 
deal of amateur music, and often played as a matter 
of self-protection, where otherwise he would have 
declined. On the other hand he never wearied of 



252 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

making music with his brother artists. At his annual 
concert, which was densely crowded, he introduced the 
" Recollections of Denmark/" with their original 
northern melodies, and, for the first time on such an 
occasion, used an Erard in preference to a Clementi 
piano. 

Paganini made his appearance in London, and public 
attention was concentrated on him. All sorts of 
scandalous stories about him had already circulated in 
England, as well as upon the Continent. He was sup- 
posed to have murdered his own wife, and during the 
years of his imprisonment to have taught himself upon 
the single G string which remained to his violin those 
" tours de force " with which he astonished foreigners 
first, and the English afterwards. Then his avarice was 
supposed to border on the fabulous, and his appearance 
reminded one of an apparition from the realm of ghosts. 

Mr. Embden (Mrs. Moscheles' father), a great 
lover of music, had, previous to Paganinr's visit to 
England, rendered him substantial service by securing 
him an engagement of a most lucrative kind, which 
but for such timely aid, he would never have succeeded 
in obtaining. " On his first visit to us, his gratitude 
found vent in such exaggerated expressions as are 
known only to an Italian vocabulary ; we were the 
children of his f onoratissimo, &c./ and he took clown 
from the mantelpiece a miniature portrait of his bene- 
factor, covered it with kisses, and addressed it with the 
most high-flown epithets. Meantime, we had leisure to 



PAGANINl's FIRST VISIT TO ENGLAND. 253 

study those olive-tinted, sharply defined features, the 
glowing eyes, the scanty but long black hair, and the thin, 
gaunt figure, upon which the clothes hung loosely, the 
deep sunken cheeks, and those long bony fingers. Our 
study and his deluge of compliments both well over, 
we began to discuss Paganini's plans, the first of which, 
that of playing at double prices in the Italian Opera 
House, had come to nothing, owing, it is said, to the 
opposition of the Duke of Devonshire. Suffice it to 
say that only two boxes were sold, and the concert 
had to be given up. This induced him to play in the 
Opera House at the usual prices." We read later on : 
" My assistance is of use to him here, and I am paid 
with quite as many honeyed epithets as my father-in- 
law received. This face of mine is as much kissed 
as my father-in-law's painted one. Paganini often 
comes to us. We receive him well, although I 
suspect he is rather too sweet to be genuine." 

The impression made by Paganini at his first concert 
was overwhelming. " The crowd in the Opera House 
was wild with excitement. He had to play nearly 
everything twice over, and was not only greeted with 
vehement clapping of hands, but every lady leaned 
forward out of her box to wave her handkerchief at 
him ; people in the pit stood up on the benches, shout- 
ing f Hurrah ! Bravo ! ' Neither Sontag nor Pasta 
made such an impression here, much less any other 
artist." 

Moschcles complains in his diary of his utter inability 



2o4 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

to find language capable of conveying a description of 
Paganinr's wonderful performance. " Had that long- 
drawn, soul-searcliing tone lost for a single second its 
balance, it would have lapsed into a discordant catVmew; 
but it never did so, and Paganinr's tone was always his 
own, and unique of its kind. The thin strings of his 
instrument, on which alone it was possible to conjure 
forth those myriads of notes and trills and cadenzas, 
would have been fatal in the hands of any other violin 
player, but with him they were indispensable adjuncts, 
and lastly, his compositions were so ultra original, so 
completely in harmony with the weird and strange figure 
of the man, that, if wanting in depth and earnestness, 
the deficiency never betrayed, itself during the author's 
dazzling display of power." 

The fever of enthusiasm continued, and to enable 
Paganini to understand the rapturous phrases in the 
newspapers, Mrs. Moscheles translated them into 
Italian for him ; these encomiums, high-flown as they 
were, were outdone by Paganini's own letters of gra- 
titude. Paganini is frequently at friends' houses, where 
he plays both violin and tenor alternately in his own 
quartets. Mori commissions Moscheles to write for 
him a piece, " Gems ä la Paganini," but takes the 
precaution of first securing Paganinr's consent. A 
day and a half suffice to complete this composition, 
and then Mori and Moscheles go together to the wily 
Italian. Moscheles plays to him his " Musical 
Portrait," a piece written in close imitation of 



MOSCHELES OPINION OF PAGANINl's PLAYING. 255 

Pagan ini's roulades and cadenzas. Paganini falls on 
his neck and smothers him with compliments. " This 
wonderful imitation, this manner, this accurate render- 
ing of his cadenzas, he found ' stupendous/ " At that 
moment of course there was but one Moschcles. 
What was Hummel in comparison ? Hummel and 
others had also written Fantasias " ä la Paganini," 
but they had displeased him ; he had protested against 
them. This arrangement was the only right one, a 
real honour to him," &c. &c. He went on in this 
strain : but we shall see further on what amount of 
sincerity and truth lay beneath it. 

Of course Moscheles heard him frequently, in order 
to study his manner and style more accurately. After 
the sixth concert he makes the following admission: 
" My mind is peculiarly vacillating about this artist. 
First of all, nothing* could exceed my surprise and ad- 
miration ; his constant and venturesome flights, his 
newly discovered source of flageolet tones, his gift of 
fusing and beautifying subjects of the most hetero- 
geneous kind ; all these phases of genius so completely 
bewildered my musical perceptions, that for several 
days afterwards my head seemed on fire and my bruin 
reeled. I never wearied of the intense expression, 
soft and melting like that of an Italian singer, which 
he could draw from his violin, and dazzled as I was, 
I could not quarrel with him for adopting the 
e manicra del gatto/ a term of opprobrium, showing 
how averse the Italians arc to this style, which I dis- 



256 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

like so intensely that I should only like to hear it 
once in every leap year. Suffice it to say, my admira- 
tion of this phenomenon, equally endowed by nature 
and art, was boundless. Now, however, after hearing 
him frequently, all this is changed ; in every one of 
his compositions I discover the same effects, which 
betrays a poverty of invention ; I also find both his 
style and manner of playing monotonous. His con- 
certos are beautiful, and have even their grand mo- 
ments ; but they remind me of a brilliant firework on 
a summer's eve, one flash succeeding the other — effec- 
tive, admirable — but always the same. His f Sonate 
Militaire/ and other pieces, have a southern glow 
about them, but this hero of the violin cannot dispense 
with the roll of the drum ; and completely as he 
may annihilate his less showy colleagues, I long for 
a little of Spohr's earnestness, Baiilot's power, and 
even Mayseder's piquancy. It may possibly be that 
the man, who grows more and more ' antipatico' to me 
every day, prejudices my judgment of the artist. 
He is so disgracefully mean. I can't vouch for the 
truth of the story, that he gave his servant a gallery 
ticket on the condition of his serving him gratuitously 
for one day, but this at all events is certain, that 
Lablache offered him 100/. to play at his benefit, 
but Paganini refused, and the great singer had to 
allow him one-third of the receipts of his concert. 
When the Opera concerts, thirteen in number, ceased 
to command full attendances, he began a series 



PAGANINI THREATENS A LAWSUIT. 257 

iri the London Tavern, in the City. This was thought 
unworthy of a great artist ; but it was all one to him, 
for he makes money there." 

The letter which supplies these extracts was written 
in July. A few weeks later, immediately after the 
publication of the second and the third book of the 
" Gems," Paganini made a legal protest, declaring the 
work a musical piracy. Of course this was a question 
concerning the publisher. Moscheles however went to 
Paganini and asked him : " Why, didn't you give me 
your permission ?" Answer : " Yes, for the first book, 
but not the second and the third." The conversation 
led to nothing ; Paganini went to Scotland, and the 
lawsuit continued. On his return, Paganini visited 
Moscheles, and, after a great deal of circumlocution, 
offered him the free sale of the three books of " Gems," 
if he would consent to make a pianoforte accompani- 
ment for twelve small violin pieces of his own. Mos- 
cheles gave a rather unwilling consent ; refusing, how- 
ever, Paganinr's further demand that he should put 
his name to the title-page. This point Paganini gave 
up, and then a discussion ensued about the law costs. 
At last Mori was glad to be moderately victimized, 
Paganini having at first talked about no less than 500/. 
damages, and Moscheles rejoiced " at being quit of 
an episode so little worthy of an artist, and having 
done with those dreadful lawyers." 

This business over, Moscheles applied with fresh 
zest to his peaceful studies, but the following note 

VOL. i. s 



258 LIFE OF 3IOSCHELES. 

proves how often they were interrupted. " All the 
would-be prodigies from the Continent visit me, and I 
have had such heaps of them lately, that I could 
almost fill an orchestra with the new arrivals/'' 

On the other hand, he had the pleasure this year 
of seeing many intimate friends ; Paul Mendelssohn 
(Felix's brother), Professor Fritz Rosen, and Klinge- 
mann. To these must be added the names of Professor 
Grahl, a portrait-painter, and a young phrenologist, 
of the name of Holm, who was indebted to Neukomm 
for an introduction to Moscheles. 

That fearful scourge, the Asiatic cholera, made Mos- 
cheles deeply anxious about his friends and relatives 
abroad, and we find him writing to them : " True, 
when thinking of you we have many an anxious hour, 
but my art, as well as my trust in God's mercy, 
must help us to tide over our anxiety.''' Fortunately 
none of his friends at Hamburg or Vienna were 
attacked. 

The great political reform at that time agitating 
England is frequently alluded to in Moscheles's letters. 
It was after the rejection of the Reform Bill and the 
dissolution of Parliament that he happened to go to a 
ball in Camberwell. " The most interesting part of 
it was the driving there and back. You know, from 
tbe newspapers, that many people illuminated in honour 
of the dissolution. Many, however, refused to do so, 
and fared badly, for the mob smashed their windows. 
The whole way to Camberwell,, seven English miles 



MUSICAL FESTIVAL % DERBY. 259 

in length, nearly every house was illuminated, and 
many transparencies bore the most ludicrous inscrip- 
tions. ' The Bill ! the whole Bill ! and nothing but 
the Bill V A patriotic butcher flaunted the following 
sentiment : ' The enemies of Reform, to be sent to 
the dominions of Don Miguel/ ' William the Restorer V 
and ( William the Patriot King V were to be read a 
hundred times over, but the owners of some houses 
obstinately refused to illuminate. The principal 
streets were besieged by an enormous crowd which 
stopped all traffic in the thoroughfares." At this 
period Moscheles seems to have been ubiquitous. He 
was present at the opening of the new London Bridge, 
and saw a splendid pageant upon the Thames. King 
and Queen, with Lord Mayor and Aldermen in their 
mediaeval dresses, servants and retinue, made up a 
picture of costume that took the spectator back to the 
days of the Tudors. 

After a few quiet days at Richmond, Moscheles 
went to Derby, to attend a musical festival, where 
Neukomm's oratorio, " The Prophecy of Babylon," 
and his most popular songs were performed. " The 
mixture of sacred and secular music was rather too 
much for me, but I was compensated by hearing 
Handel's c Messiah/ Amongst the singers were 
Madame Stockhausen, Miss Masson, and Phillips — 
always first-rate. " 

" Derby. — The Committee is hardly satisfied with 
the pecuniary results of the Festival, two hundred 

s 2 



200 LJFE^OF MOSCHELES. 

tickets at a guinea each, two hundred at twelve shil- 
lings, and two hundred at seven shillings, being all 
that were sold." 

On Christmas Eve the Moscheles, after the good 
old German fashion, have their gorgeous Christmas 
tree, and Barry Cornwall and Neukonim add to the 
children's merriment — the former writing a poem, 
the latter setting it to music, with an obligato ac- 
companiment of " Mirlitons." Judging by the encores, 
which were no less than five, the piece, with its 
chorus of sighs and the children's laughter, must have 
been a grand success. 



261 



CHAPTER XIV. 
1832. 



moscheles as an orchestral writer — death of clementi — 
german opera in london — the italian opera — "robert le 

diable" — centenary of haydn's birth — the elder mathews 

pianists and prime donne — literary and artistic friends 

Mendelssohn's " lieder ohne worte'' — art congress — 
anecdote of schroder — moscheles' birthday — paganini — 

visit to berlin — intercourse with the mendelssohns 

leipzig and weimar — souvenir of goethe — at the pavilion, 
Brighton — beethoven's "messe solennelle." 



W BITING about the Philharmonic Society, Mos- 
cheles says : " I had the honour of being made 
a Director, and I was elected, they tell me, without a 
single black ball ; there are seven of us, however, six 
of whom agree in their views; they are the con- 
servatives, whilst I alone advocate musical reform. 
Several matters are uncongenial to me — but I am 
out-voted. Grand orchestral works and quartet 
music are played at one and the same concert, third- 
rate singers are engaged; the antiquated Trio by 
Corelli is to be heard year after year, played by 
those old campaigners — E. Cramer, Lindley, and 
Dragonetti, radiant with complacent smiles and 
triumphant airs. Lindley, with his inevitable Cadenza, 
seems to lead up to a happy close, but it is only to 



262 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

return to his everlasting arpeggios and flageolet tones. 
It reminds me of the fly which will come back to the 
sugar on the plate. And yet this has its charms for 
a certain class of subscribers. No wonder they don't 
venture on Beethoven/s last quartets. 

Moscheles gave his new Symphony, and played his 
new C major Concerto. " I don't set much store/' 
he says, " upon the praise bestowed on my new things, 
for this audience applauds even common-place music." 
The Symphony was repeated several times, but Mos- 
cheles J^who was always a severe critic of his own 
playing and compositions) soon discovered his in- 
feriority as an orchestral writer to many of his con- 
temporaries, aud acknowledged that his beloved 
Mendelssohn had already far outstripped him. The 
instrumentation of Moscheles' G minor Concerto, 
which to this very day is so effective, warranted 
people in expecting that the composer, who was 
very young at the time, would further distinguish 
himself as an orchestral writer, and the ballet " Les 
Deux Portraits," composed in his earliest days at 
Vienna, had won for him the favourable suffrages of 
competent art judges ; but Moscheles, although he 
made some attempts later on in life, saw clearly that 
the piano was always his peculiar and legitimate 
field — that in composing for that instrument he could 
benefit and delight others. He therefore confined him- 
self chiefly to pianoforte compositions, and not un- 
frequently introduced into these great orchestral effects. 



DEATH OE CLEMENTI. SCHRÖDER, 263 

In the early part of this year Clementi died, at the 
age of eighty- four years, and was followed to his grave 
in Westminster Abbey by many of his brother-artists. 
The Philharmonic Society, wishing to honour his 
memory, gave a performance of Mozart's " Requiem ," 
but that noble work was utterly out of place in the 
midst of all sorts of secular music. Cinti on the same 
evening created a " furore " with the cavatina from the 
" Barbiere/' whilst no one seemed to understand 
Mendelssohn's " Hebrides Overture/' which was coldly 
received. Here was a commemorative festival, which did 
no honour to Clementi nor to those who survived him ! 

The melodrama " Rob Roy" — founded on Walter 
Scott's romance — was successful, and at a time when 
the poet, alas ! lay dangerously ill in a London hotel. 
Braham, in spite of his advanced years, was still 
admirable in " Fra Diavolo /' and the inimitable 
Mars as great as ever in the part of Valerie. 

The German opera, with Sehr öder -Devrient, 
Haizinger, Hauscr, etc., had a long run of unbroken 
successes. Schroder's Fidelio, always grand, need 
only be alluded to in these pages, which frequently 
record her triumphs. The charming artiste used to 
sing in Moschelcs' house, to the delight of her host 
and hostess, and when they thanked her she would 
reply, " It's a pleasure, children, to sing for you ; here 
I can do as I like, but oh ! the horror of a stiff 
English soiree, where the ladies stare at me, and quiz 
my behaviour/' 



264 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

The new director of the Italian Opera was Monk 
Mason. He had bought the score of " Robert le 
Diable" for England, but the pianoforte edition had 
only just been published, when the English theatrical 
managers laid violent hands upon it, having it scored 
by English composers and sung by English singers. 
" I attended," says Moscheles, " one such mongrel 
representation, and found in that piece of patchwork, 
' The Demon/ Meyerbeer's best intentions utterly 
destroyed ; fine scenery and ignorant listeners could 
alone save this performance from complete failure. 
Drury Lane, in rivalry with Covent Garden, wanted 
to produce another version, and having better singers 
partially succeeded; still there was no Meyerbeer in 
it." 

On the 31st of March, the centenary of Haydn's 
birth was celebrated by a banquet, which is alluded 
to in the diary. " Ninety-two of us musical men 
attended the dinner ; the ladies occupied the gallery. 
Barry Cornwall wrote a song in praise of the great 
musician, and Neukomm introduced into his com- 
memorative ode a number of his old master's most 
beautiful airs. Field, Bohrer, and I played ; we had 
choruses out of the ' Creation/ and the music was 
worthy qf the occasion, but the endless toasts spoilt 
everything. Not only did we drink to the memory of 
the e immortal Haydn/ but all musical celebrities, 
living and dead, absent and present, were toasted ; the 
consequence was that some of the executants' fingers 



CENTENARY 0¥ HAYDN'S BIRTH. MATHEWS. 265 

were rather heavy when it came to the second part of 
the music. We Germans on this occasion had clearly 
the best of it." 

We again find allusions to formal and distasteful 
musical soirees ; but on the other hand Moscheles 
speaks with delight of Mathews, the famous comedian, 
who at a private party improvised scenes illustrating 
the recent opening of the new London Bridge. " His 
changes of voice and exquisite drollery belonged to a 
high order of wit." 

On the 14th of April we read : " Yesterday, the 
Reform Bill was passed, and to-day, at a dinner party, 
we heard interesting discussions on this subject ; but, 
alas ! a great musical soiree followed, attended by the 
whole Tory party, the Duke of Wellington at the 
head. One cannot play one's best in the presence 
of these great men, who concentrate all their attention 
upon an Italian prima donna ; it doesn't matter 
whether I or any other artist plays the piano, 
they don't care about it, their applause on these 
occasions, I regard as an expression of delight that they 
have got rid of me. My wife and I sacrifice as short 
a time as possible to such soirees, and hurry home again, 
as soon as good manners will allow us." 

In the quiet of his own home, Moscheles found his 
real element of happiness, brightened as it was by the 
faces of many dear and distinguished friends. More 
than one is still amongst us to remember that home 
where social intercourse and the cultivation of art for 



266 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

its own sake were so happily blended, and will recall 
to mind the image of Moscheles as he wonld alternately 
play, listen, or converse, or as he would sit correcting 
proof sheets, not only of his own works, but of those of 
friends who frequently delegated such duties to him. 

Chorley, the well-known art-critic of the Athenäum 
who now settled in London, soon became intimate 
with the Moscheles, and was for many years their 
highly-esteemed, generous, and often indispensable 
friend. The respected authoress, Mrs. Bowdich Lee, 
whom Cuvier complimented as a first-rate naturalist, 
was not only a constant visitor at Chester Place, and 
a keen enthusiast for good music, but she took 
pleasure in instructing and amusing the children. 
We read in the diary of Meyerbeer's arrival, and of 
many interesting meetings with that amiable and gifted 
artist, who, as an old friend, soon felt himself at home 
under Moscheles' roof, but the crowning joy of all was 
the arrival of Mendelssohn, who, to the delight of 
Moscheles, appeared in London on the 23rd of April. 
" We had been long expecting him, but a slight 
attack of cholera detained him in Paris. He now 
swum back to us islanders laden with his precious cargo 
of new compositions ; now the glorious days return 
again." 

To illustrate the great intimacy existing between 
Mendelssohn and Moscheles, we need only let the 
diary, the record, as it is, of an almost daily meeting 
of the two friends, speak for itself: — 



MENDELSSOHN IN LONDON. 267 

On the 24th of April, the day after his arrival, 
Mendelssohn, after dinner, played to Moscheles for 
the first time his so-called " Instrumental Lieder für 
Clavier/'' now the famous " Lieder ohne Worte/'"* and 
his " Capriccio in B minor ;" " all his music breathes 
spirit and life, the Lieder are full of deep feeling 
and tenderness, and his ' Capriccio' is suited to the 
concert room. He was particularly pleased with the 
Adagio in my new C major Concerto." 

"April 25th. — Mendelssohn, Klingemann, Meyer- 
beer, and Madame Schröder-Devrient dined with us. 
Felix and I played his Symphony; he made me repeat 
my Concerto, and Schröder delighted us with her 
singing." 

" April 28th. — Rehearsal of the Philharmonic Con- 
cert, where a regular Art Congress assembled, includ- 
ing Mendelssohn, Lablache, Field, and J. B. Cramer; 
in the evening we joined Meyerbeer in his box at 
the Opera, and saw ' II Barbiere' with Cinti and 
Lablache ; it was a first-rate performance." 

" April 30th. — To-day Mendelssohn played us his 
Cantata ' Die Erste Walpurgisnacht/ which I had 
heard and admired in former days in Berlin. Now 
that he has completely re-written it, I admire it still 

* In the original M.S. in ray possession the title-page, in Mendels- 
sohn's handwriting shows that lie first named these "Six Songs for 
the Pianoforte alone,' 1 which lie corrected to " Melodies for the 
Pianoforte/' composed by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. London : 
published (for the author) by Novel lo, (»7, Frith Street, Soho. Bonn, 
)>y N. Simrock. Paris, by Maurice Schlesinger« — P. MLoschblss. 



268 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

more. He also played me that charming Liederspiel, 
f The Son and Stranger/ written for the silver wedding 
of his parents, and lastly his overture to the c Hebrides/ 
My wife's invitation for this evening he answered in 
the following way, ' I thank Mr. Moscheles ex- 
ceedingly for wishing to see something of my new 
compositions, and if he promises to tell me when he 
has had too much of me, I will bring a whole cab- 
load of manuscripts to your house, and play every one 
of you to sleep/ w 

"May 1st (Sunday). — Mendelssohn and Klinge- 
mann came to the children's one o'clock dinner. The 
former gave me the score of his overture to the 
' Hebrides/ which he had finished in Rome on the 
16th of December, 1830, but afterwards altered for 
publication. I often thought the first sketch of bis 
compositions so beautiful and complete in form that 
I could not think any alteration advisable, and during 
our stroll in the Park we discussed this point again 
to-day. Mendelssohn, however, firmly adhered to his 
principle of revision/' 

Madame Moscheles writes : — " Our interesting guests 
at dinner were the Haizingers; he the admirable tenor 
singer of whom the German opera company here may 
well be proud, she pretty and agreeable as ever ; we had 
too our great Schröder, and our still greater Mendels- 
sohn. The conversation of course was animated, and 
the two ladies were in such spirits that they not only 
told anecdotes, but accompanied them with dramatic 



PERFORMANCE OF (C FIDELIO." 269 

gestures. Schröder, when telling us ' how he drew 
his sword/ flourished her knife in a threatening 
manner towards Haizinger, and Mendelssohn whispered 
to me, ' I wonder what John (the footman J thinks of 
such un-English vivacity ? To see the brandishing of 
knives, and not to know what it is all about ! Only 

think ! ' We had the most beautiful music 

in the evening, one artist surpassing the other. - " 

u May 7th. — To-day with Mendelssohn at a dinner 
party, where he would not play, and Field was a poor 
substitute/'' 

" May 8th. — A charming, homely evening with 
Mendelssohn and Klingemann; we cut a thousand 
jokes, whilst planning our programme for our evening 
party on the 10th of May." 

" May 9th. — In Meyerbeer's box to see the first 
German representation in the Italian Opera-house. 
( Der Freischütz/ was given, with Madame Meric, 
Maschinka, Schneider, Haizinger, and Häuser the 
chief singers, Chelard conductor. Everything went 
well ; the public called for the singers repeatedly, and 
cheered them enthusiastically." 

" May 10th. — Our grand soiree ; we had a happy 
union of German and English music." 

Between the 11th and 16th of May, the friends 
met every evening. 

" May 18th. — First representation of ' Fidelio ' for 
the debut of Schrödcr-Devrient ; she and Haizinger 
inimitable, and the public so enthusiastic during the 



270 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

whole evening, that the ' Overture/ the c Canon/ the 
' Prisoners'' Chorus/ and the whole ' Finale * were 
encored/'' 

The following comic episode will perhaps be new 
to some of our readers : — " In that deeply tragic 
scene where Madame Schröder (Fidelio) has to give 
Haizinger (Florestan) a piece of bread which she has 
kept hidden for three days for him in the folds of her 
dress, he does not respond to the offer ; she in rather 
strong language whispers to him, with a coarse 
epithet ; f Why don't you take it ? Do you want it 
buttered V All this time, the audience, ignorant of the 
by-play, was intent solely on the pathetic situation/'' 

4f May 20th. — Mendelssohn breakfasted with me, 
and we began the day with music, and afterwards 
strolled into the Park. In the evening Haizinger 
came, and I tried with him a new variation which he 
is to sing at my concert, in the { Abschied des Trouba- 
dours/ " 

" May 21st. — With Mendelssohn, at John Cramer's 
concert/'' 

" May 24th. — Second representation of ' Fidelio/ if 
possible, finer than the first. But is it credible that 
the Directors made Lee, the able violoncello-player 
from Hamburg, play some variations after the opera 
was finished, and had an act of ' Otello' to wind up 
with? We could not stay out such a tasteless 
exhibition/'' 

" May 25th. — After giving my inevitable nine lessons 



Mendelssohn's g minor concerto. 271 

I was permitted to enjoy Mendelssohn's society at 
dinner. In the evening he played his charming 
{ Capriccio in B minor/ at Mori's concert/'' 

" May 28th. — Rehearsed for my concert ' Mozart's 
Concerto for Two Pianos/ with Mendelssohn at Erard's. 
Felix dined with us, and in the evening we went to- 
gether to the Philharmonic Concert ; he won a genuine 
triumph by the performance of his new ' G minor 
Concerto/ Invention, form, instrumentation, and 
playing : everything gave me perfect satisfaction. The 
piece sparkles with genius." 

" May 29th. — My wife had prepared a pleasant 
surprise for me. Mendelssohn and the German artists 
came to dine with us on the eve of my birthday. 
Madame Haizinger recited a Prologue by Klinge- 
mann, explaining that to-morrow being a busy day, 
they had anticipated the celebration. A packet 
was then handed to me, containing a sheet of paper 
on which Mendelssohn had transcribed a regular 
catalogue of the themes of my works, illustrating 
them with humorous drawings in the margin. I was, 
however, allowed no time to study the interesting 
present, for a four-part song broke in upon us ; 
then Schröder, the Haizingers, and Hause, sang a 
Canon by Mendelssohn, upon four lines of a stanza 
written for the occasion by Klingemann ; the music 
founded on the motivo of my ' C major Concerto/ It 
was a charming fete for me, as an artist and a man." 

" May 30th. — Mendelssohn, Klingemann, and our 



272 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

mutual friend, Dr. Fritz Rosen, Professor of Sanscrit 
in the University of London, at dinner." 

In the month of June we find Mendelssohn playing 
with Moscheles at his own concert, besides giving a 
masterly performance of fugues in St. Paul's Cathedral, 
and playing at the Philharmonic Concerts, where he 
is obliged to repeat, amid salvos of applause, the 
whole of his " G minor Concerto." " The quiet 
evenings," observes Moscheles, " when we chat and 
make music together, are incomparably delightful. 
To-day we went carefully through his pianoforte duet 
arrangement of the ( Midsummer Night's Dream ;' 
this is just about to appear in print. The dinnerparty 
to-day at Sir George Smart's — the first since his 
marriage with the charming Miss Hope — was very 
agreeable ; the music was worthy of the occasion." 

Further on Moscheles writes : " Mendelssohn and I 
admire Horsley's glee e Cold is Cadwallo's Tongue.' 
The death of the Celtic hero could not have been be- 
wailed in more tragic tones than in this glee 

Again we agree about Paganini ; he has just returned 
to London and played in public, but no longer 
exercised the old charm over us. That eternal mawkish- 
ness becomes at last too much of a good thing." 

On the 22nd of June Mendelssohn comes to take 
leave. " We were in high spirits, talked in riddles ; 
but when the parting moment came, it was a melan- 
choly business." 

As late as the 24th of June we still find Moscheles 



VISIT TO MENDELSSOHN. 273 

busy. " I slept for once up to eight o'clock. This 
morning I listened, as I was dressing, to little Litolff, 
who had come for his promised lesson. Then a hasty 
breakfast, but whilst I was sipping my first cup of 

coffee, in came the Ladies B , who stayed so long that 

I had to make up my mind to give Litolff his lesson 
in their presence. Next in turn was a Viennese 
pianist, who brought a Rondo, the chief feature of 
which was a c Crescendo ä la Rossini/ Close on his 
heels came the two Eichhorn boys, who had to wait 
whilst I saw the doctor. No sooner had he gone 
than I had the exquisite treat of hearing the boys play, 
and as a finale -.—enter a musical friend, with an 
insatiable appetite for my performances." 

The month of July, allowing for business cc poco a 
poco decrescendo," differs very slightly from its pre- 
decessor, but the hour of release is at hand, and on 
the 14th of August Moscheles gets away for his quiet 
holiday-time with his relatives in Hamburg. His ideas 
of happiness consisted, as we know, in composing and 
playing ; and this he did privately with the .best artists 
of the town, publicly for charitable objects. 

On the 4th of October the family went to Berlin 
to meet Moscheles' mother, who for the first time 
enjoyed the happiness of seeing her grandchildren. 

Of course the great centre of attraction was Felix 
Mendelssohn, and the house of his parents. The 
father was Moscheles' confidential adviser in matters 
of business, and as to music, Moscheles says : " I 

VOL. I. T 



274 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

practise daily on Felix's magnificent Erard, and he is 
going to lend it to me for the concert ; we often extem- 
porize together,, each of ns trying to dart qnick as 
lightning on the suggestions implied by each other's 
harmonies, and to construct others upon them. Then 
Felix, whenever I introduce any motive out of his 
own works, breaks in and cuts me short by playing a 
subject from one of my compositions, on which I 
retort, and then he, and so on ad infinitum. It's a 
sort of musical blindman's-buff, where the blindfolded 
now and then run against each other's heads." 

On the 11th of October Moscheles was present at 
a delightful performance of the " Walpurgis Night," 
given at the house of Felix's parents; the solos were 
performed by Mantius, the Devrients, and Frau Thür- 
schmidt. Beethoven's Polonaise and Moscheles' 
Sonata in E flat were played by him and Felix, and 
Mantius and Devrient sang from the Liederspiel, " The 
Son and the Stranger." It was a charming evening. 
A similar party is alluded to on the 14th of October. 

" Neukomm's arrival in Berlin was generally wel- 
come. Felix and I heard his oratorio, the * Ten Com- 
mandments' in the Academy, as well as the ' Crociato,' 
given for the first time on the birthday of the Crown 
Prince. Unfortunately the Crociato himself was quite 
hoarse, but Frau Kraus Wranitzky was excellent as 
Palmyra — the men nothing to speak of; choruses and 
scenery splendid." The Moscheles admired in the 
Exhibition just opened, u Die Trauernden Juden," a 



MOSCHELES' CONCERT AT BERLIN. 275 

picture by Edward Bendemann, a youth of twenty-one 
years of age, whose great reputation dated from the 
production of this work. 

Moscheles says again : " I enjoyed the privilege, 
but only once during my short stay in Berlin, of 
hearing Schleiermacher preach." 

On the 17th of this month Moscheles' crowded 
concert was given at the Opera House. He says : 
" My third of the receipts amounts to 301 thalers 
net. Graf Redern, Intendant of the Royal Opera, 
met me in a very friendly manner, and the public 
so heartily applauded my C major Concerto, the 
Danish Fantasia, and an improvisation upon { Che 
faro/ c Voi che sapete/ and ' Namenlose Freude/ that I 
was in great delight, especially as my mother and my 
wife were both present at my triumph. Felix supped 
with us at l Jagor's.' He was in high spirits." 

On the following day, the last that Moscheles spent 
in Berlin, there was a matinee at Mendelssohn's. 
Felix played, with the violinist Ries, Beethoven's C 
minor Sonata, and Moscheles his Trio, the scherzo of 
which he was obliged to repeat. At dinner the whole 
family begged him to play once more at the Opera 
House, and Felix jumped up from table to ask Redern 
if a concert could be arranged by Sunday. The 
answer was that it could not be done before Wednes- 
day, and this confirmed Moscheles in his resolve to 
leave Berlin immediately, but not before he got from 
Felix a promise, with reference to an expected event, 

t a 



276 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

that he would come to London and be sponsor to a 
child, which, if a boy, was to bear the name of Felix. 

On arriving at Leipzig, Moscheles found two 
hundred subscribers'' names down for his concert ; the 
instrument to be used was lent by Wieck, " whose dear 
little clever daughter played to me." 

The arrival at Weimar, and a visit to Hummel, are 
next recorded, and Moscheles, speaking of a dejeuner 
at Frau von Goethe's, says : " There were plenty of 
titled people who made a great deal of me and my 
playing, but my wife and I thought sorrowfully of 
Goethe, the great genius of the place, who had died 
some months since. We were in his house, but were 
not even allowed to see his own rooms, as everything 
in them was still disarranged. Frau von Goethe gave 
us, as souvenirs, a few fac-similes of the great man's 
handwriting, the last medal that was struck of him, 
and a lock of his hair. The ladies of the Court were 
of opinion that the Grand Duchess would keep Sunday 
disengaged for my concert ; she was very gracious and 
well-disposed towards me. There was an obstacle how- 
ever, for the Grand Duke had to receive two foreign 
ambassadors on that day; I played but once before 
the Court, was treated with marked kindness, and 
presented with a diamond ring." 

" October 26th. — Dined at HummePs. We extempo- 
rized on the pianoforte, and delighted our audience. 
Hummel, however, I felt, was no Felix. We were 
soon in our travelling dress, and drove on to Erfurt." 



THE ROYAL CONCERT AT BRIGHTON. 277 

On arriving at Frankfort, he writes : " Hofrath 
Andre, in Offenbach, showed me an unfinished Opera, 
by Mozart, ' Bettulia Liberata/ The printed Li- 
bretto shows that the composer, Gassman, wrote the 
music to it in 1786. Andre undertook to complete 
Mozart's work, and showed me the score of his overture. 
I played it, and think it has merit." 

On the 7th of November Moscheles gives a success- 
ful concert at Frankfort, and after fulfilling an engage- 
ment at Cologne hurries back to London. Once at 
Chester Place, he records in his diary his delight at 
finding himself home again, and the success of this 
winter campaign, adding : " To-day, the first after my 
return, I gave a lesson to a pupil who had been waiting 
many anxious weeks." On the 30th : " True to my 
habit of composing something new on my wife's birth- 
day, I began, this year, not as hitherto, a mere trifle, 
but a Septet, which I am commissioned to write for 
the Philharmonic Society. It is to be their exclusive 
property for two years, after which I may publish 
it." 

As he worked at the Septet steadily every evening, 
a royal command to play before the Court at Brighton 
was an unwelcome interruption, but being assured by 
a friend that he would play immediately after his 
arrival, he started on the evening of the 11th of 
December. 

"All alone in the Brighton Coach with Goethe's 
'Götz ' as my companion. Arrived at two o'clock, gave 



278 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

my letter, but didn't meet a soul. Great crowds in 
the street on account of the impending elections. 
The two candidates paraded the streets with bands of 
music and the shouts of their partisans. Theatre 
deserted, empty and cold, the farce of c Harvest Home' 
was a dreary Ballet, but Mr. and Mrs. Keeley in 
' Master's Rival' were excellent." 

" December 12th. — Matters did not go as smoothly as 
I had been led to anticipate, and from the difficulty I 
had in procuring a personal interview with Sir Andrew 
Barnard, for the purpose of talking over the necessary 
arrangements for my appearance at the Pavilion this 
evening, I feared that there was truth in the report 
that he was prejudiced against German art, and 
reserved his courtesies for the Italians. When at last 
he did condescend to admit me to his presence, he 
apologized for having kept me waiting, and, after a 
few polite phrases, asked me if I would try the Erard 
in • the Pavilion. I found the instrument stiff and 
unmanageable from having stood so long in a cold 
room, but I was obliged to get my hand in somehow, 
and had not a single moment to spare for rehearsal 
with the King's band. We met in the evening in the 
fantastically decorated and beautifully lighted music- 
room attached to the Pavilion. The scene was a 
brilliant one. King William IV., Queen Adelaide, and 
their suite, sat at the farthest corner of the room. 
The guests were a long way from the piano, and I was 
not presented. I played my new c Fantasia upon 



PERFORMANCE AT THE PAVILION. 279 

English National Songs/ which was dedicated to the 
Queen. During my performance the King alone ap- 
proached me, and seemed to be listening; he bowed 
condescendingly when I rose, but did not say a 
syllable ; the company talked loudly. Sir Andrew 
asked me to play on the organ, and later in the 
evening I had to accompany eight imperfectly trained 
performers, in some selections from Haydn's l Crea- 
tion/ Only the Princess Augusta and the Marchioness 
of Cornwallis took any interest in my ' Alexander 
Variations' and extempore playing, and that in spite 
of the general buzz of conversation. Some numbers of 
c Robert le Diable' were given by the band, and the 
performance finished with ' God save the King/ The 
Court withdrew after Sir Andrew had handed to the 
Queen a copy of my ' English Fantasia/- an honour I 
myself had solicited, but been refused. Sir Andrew 
dismissed me as before with a few polite courtly 
phrases about the satisfaction felt by their Majesties, 
but none of the company exchanged a word with me.'' 
No wonder that Moscheles left Brighton in a bad 
humour, and was only too glad to get home again 
after this cold reception, if only to forget the un- 
pleasant impressions he brought away with him. Mr. 
Grimal, a great musical enthusiast, brought him Beet- 
hoven's Mass in D (op. 123), a work hitherto unknown 
and unheard in London, requesting him to conduct it 
at the house of Mr. Alsager, the contributor of the 
City article to the Times, and a complete fanatic in his 



280 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

Beethoven worship. In his large music room Beet- 
hoven's works were given with full orchestral accom- 
paniments. On the 23rd of December, Moscheles 
first acted there as conductor of a most efficient band., 
although consisting partly of amateurs, and subsequently 
his services as conductor were repeatedly called for. 
" I had/" writes Moscheles, " become by dint of study j, 
completely absorbed in that colossal work (the Messe 
Solennelle). Occasionally isolated phrases seemed un« 
equal to the elevation of Church music, but these, 
compared with the work in its entirety, are as the 
details of a broadly conceived picture. The enthusiasm 
of my English friends also fired my zeal to give an 
interpretation worthy of the great work. Miss Novello 
and Miss H. Cawse did their best. The ' Benedictus/ 
with the heavenly violin solo (Mori), enchanted us all." 
After Christmas, Moscheles finished his sketch of 
the Adagio of the Septet, devoted a few days to copy- 
ing the parts and arranging the music for the orchestra, 
and then had the satisfaction of successfully rehearsing 
his music on the 31st of December before some musical 
friends. 



281 



CHAPTER XV. 
1833. 

CONCERTS IN THE NORTH OF ENGLAND — BIRTH OP A SON — CON- 
GRATULATORY LETTER FROM FELIX MENDELSSOHN — JOHN PARRY — 
HERZ— HANDEL'S MESSIAH— PASTA — MADAME MALIBRAN — CHOPIN'S 
"STUDIES" — MENDELSSOHN IN LONDON — ILLNESS OF MENDELS- 
SOHN'S FATHER — COLERIDGE — MOORE — LOCKHART — SEASIDE MUSIC 
— LESSONS GIVEN DURING THE YEAR. 

THE Septet, begun in the old year and finished in 
the new, became a special favourite with Mos- 
cheles, and with Mendelssohn too, who asked in his 
child-like modest way, " Will you allow me to arrange 
it as a duet for the piano T y And later on, when engaged 
on the work, " Do you like it ? — I am certain you 
would have done it better yourself." We used to smile 
at such speeches as these, and call them his " culpable 
modesty 3i (frevelhafte Bescheidenheit), but were for all 
that quite satisfied that the great artist, underrating his 
own value, was thoroughly sincere in what he said. 

The following extracts from letters to his wife, refer 
to concerts in the north of England. % 

" York, February 4th, 11.30 a.m. — The concert is 
over. I may say, without self-assertion, that I was the 
only one applauded at all this evening ; we had but 
one solo- singer, a few glees, some miserable overtures, 



2S2 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

in which the flute was the sole support of the harmonies. 

misery ! Anyone less thick-skinned than I am, 
would have died straight off, but I could listen without 
as much as a fainting fit. I assure you I was obliged 
to nerve myself, as I should have to do if I were 
attending an execution. I was not only enthusiastically 
received, but forced to improvise twice. The singer, 
Mr. W., wanted to have ( The Midnight Review/ 
accompanied by the orchestra, and at the rehearsal I 
took all possible pains to make the thing go, but there 
was no more life or spirit to be got out of the band than 
from stones or pebbles. I advised him to give up the 
band, and offered my services to save a catastrophe, 
by accompanying the cantata myself. At six in the 
morning I start in the mail-coach for Sheffield, and as 

1 have to pack up, I must finish. 

" Sheffield, February 5th, 11 o'clock. — The concert 
is over. To-day was a busy one, and whilst writing to 
you I feel like a stage-coach horse just arrived, and 
steaming after his work is over. I was up at 5, started 
at 6, here by 3.30. Immediately went off to rehearsal ; 
then dinner and concert. They wanted the ' Fall of 
Paris ' again, but I only played the finale twice, and 
escaped a threatened encore of my extempore playing 
by bowing my acknowledgments." 

On the very day of his return to London, his son 
was born. Great was the joy in the house of 
Moscheles, who writes : " I sat up half the night 
writing the happy news to relations; and the expectant 



LETTER FROM MENDELSSOHN. 283 

godfather, Felix Mendelssohn, expressing to the latter 
a hope that he would come, and hold the child in his 
own hands at the font." 

The following letter, with the annexed pen and ink 
sketch, came by return of post, in answer to Moscheles' 
letter : — 

" Dear Moscheles, — Here they are, wind instru- 
ments and fiddles, for the son and heir must not be 
kept waiting till I come ; he must have a cradle-song, 
with drums and trumpets, and Janissary music ; the 
fiddles alone are not near joyous enough. May every 
happiness and joy and blessing attend the little 
stranger ; may he be prosperous ; may he do well 
whatever he does ; and may it fare well with him in 
this world ! So he is to be called Felix, is he ? How 
nice and kind of you to let him become my godchild 
in forma, and the first present his godfather makes 
him is the above entire orchestra ; it is to accompany 
him all through life : the trumpets when he wants to 
become famous, the flutes when he falls in love, the 
cymbals* when he gets a beard ; the pianoforte explains 
itself, and should people ever play him false, as they 
will do to the best of us, there stand the kettledrums, 
and the big drums in the background. Dear me! forgive 
this rubbish, but I am ever so happy when I think 
of your happiness, and of the time when I shall have 
my full share of it. By the end of April at the latest 



* The German word " Becken" has the double meaning of cymbals 
and bason. 



284 



LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 




Mendelssohn's letter. 285 

I intend to be in London, and then we will give the 
boy a regular name and introduction to the big world. 
It will be grand ! 

"To your Septet I look forward with no small 
pleasure. Klingemann has written out eleven notes 
of it for me, and those I like ever so much ; I can 




quite imagine what a bright lively Finale they would 
make. He has also described and analysed for me the 
Andante in B flat major, but after all it will be better 
to hear it. Don't expect too much from the com- 
positions I shall bring with me. You are sure to find 
frequent traces of a moodiness which I can only shake 
off slowly and by dint of an effort. I often feel as if 
I had never composed at all, and had to begin and 
learn everything over again ; now, however, I have 
got into better trim, and my last things will sound 
better. 

" Nice it was, too, that your letter really found me, 
as you said it should, alone and in the quiet of my 
own room, composing to my heart's content, and now 
I only wish my letter may find you some quiet evening 
at home, with your dear ones well and happy around 
you. We will see whether I am as lucky at wishing 
as you were. I am in a hurry, and must end. I had 



286 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

but half an hour to write to you in, and that beautiful 

bit of art has taken up all my time ; besides, I have 

nothing further to say but this : I wish you joy, now 

and hereafter, and may we soon meet again. My 

friends here send their kindest remembrances and 

congratulations, and are well ; all but my father, who 

suffers constantly from his eyes, and is in consequence 

much depressed. This re- acts upon us, and we pray 

that there may soon be a change for the better. My 

sister and I just now do a great deal of music ; every 

Sunday morning we have stringed accompaniments, 

and I have just received from the bookbinder a big 

grass-green volume of ' Moscheles/ for next time we 

are going to play your Trio. Farewell, farewell, and 

remain happy. 

" Yours, 

" Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy." 

"Berlin, 27 Feb. 1833. 

" Dear Mrs. Moscheles, — To-day, although I can 
write but a few lines, I must send you my best con- 
gratulations, and tell you how I can enter heart and 
soul into your happiness. How delightful it is, but I 
shall soon make the personal acquaintance of the new 
arrival, and how delightful that he is to be called after 
me ; mind you wait, please, till I am there, so that I 
may really avail myself of the old invitation to the 
christening ; I will come with all possible haste, and 
be in London as early as I can. Fm glad it's a 



Mendelssohn's letter to mus. moscheles. 287 

boy ; he must become a musician, and what we all 
would fain do, and cannot, may it be his destiny to 
achieve, or if not, it matters little, for a good man he 
will become, and that's the great point. To be sure, 
I see it plainly, that the two grown-up sisters, Misses 
Emily and Serena, will tyrannize over him; by the 
time he is fourteen he will have to suffer from many 
a side-glance at his too long arms, and his too short 
coat, and his bad voice ; but by-and-by he will 
become a man, and protect them in their turn, and do 
them all manner of services, and he will have to go 
through the boredom of many a soiree as their cha- 
peron. I am sure you are a little, perhaps very, angry 
with me as being so lazy a correspondent, but only 
pardon me, and I promise to amend, more particularly 
so when I am once in London, and can myself carry 
and improvise my answers and questions ; but I will 
improve even before that. My sisters send you heaps 
of good wishes and congratulations ; so do my parents, 
and we all heartily rejoice in the event of your first- 
born son. I must now begin the last movement of 
my Symphony, which, lying as it does on the tips of 
my fingers, spoils my style and robs me of my time. 
Pardon these hurried lines ; you know how they are 

meant. 

" Your devoted 

" Felix Mendelssohn." 
The question of shifting the place of their meetings 



288 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

gave rise this winter to violent discussions amongst the 
members of the Philharmonic Society. In the Argyll 
Rooms there were boxes for the more fashionable 
members amongst the subscribers, in the Hanover 
Square Rooms there was but one large box (called the 
Royal Box from being reserved for the Court) ; the 
proposal to have stalls was hotly contested, but not 
carried. The orchestra was differently arranged in 
the new room, the basses being separated and placed 
more in the background than hitherto, and on 
trying the overture to the " Zauber flöte " the new 
arrangement proved effective. The programmes in- 
cluded amongst the works of the great masters — 
Mendelssohn's Symphony in A major, performed with 
great applause on the 13th of May, and on the same 
evening Mendelssohn played Mozart's Concerto in D 
in a masterly style. Hummel also was heard in his 
new Concerto in F major, and Moscheles in his new 
Septet written for the Society, accompanied by 
Dragonetti, Lindley, Mori, and others. 

At the conclusion of this season's concerts there 
was a first performance of Mendelssohn's Overture to 
" Ruy Bias ;" the unrivalled Malibran appeared again, 
and Moscheles was re-elected a Director of the 
Philharmonic. 

Moscheles found an opportunity of introducing at 
Mr. Alsager's meetings Beethoven's Sonatas, op. 109 
and 111, and remarks : "I found some of my hearers 
listening with deep devotion, whilst at my own house 



OLD PARRY. — "pRECIOSa" VARIATIONS. 289 

artists seem comparatively indifferent ; some certainly 
are moved,, while others are scared by the extrava- 
gancies of the master, and do not recover their equa- 
nimity until I favour them with tjie more intelligible 
D minor Sonata." 

At a concert given by the Royal Society of Musi- 
cians " there was an amusing performance, for old 
Parry, dressed in the costume of a Welsh bard, carry- 
ing his harp, sang his national melodies. He is a 
favourite with us musicians, who gave him a compli- 
mentary dinner and a present of silver plate, in 
recognition of his many years' services as one of our 
guild, and in token of his efforts on behalf of poor 
musicians. His gratitude and emotion were very 
touching." 

The influenza, which first appeared in a virulent form 
in London this spring, attacked Moscheles and his 
household severely. We read : " We are now in the 
middle of April ; my annual concert is announced for 
the 1st of May, and the indispensable novelty (with 
which alone I can meet my public with a good con- 
science) has still to be composed. How can I tell 
whether my fingers will be fit for action, and whether 
I should not act wisely in giving up this concert ?" 
Mendelssohn came to London ; his visit seems to have 
acted on Moscheles like a panacea, and the joy of 
seeing Felix once again to have contributed to his 
recovery, for a few days later, Moscheles, resolving to 
venture on his concert, the two friends determined to 
vol. i. u 



290 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

write and play together a piece for two pianos. They 
agreed on the necessity of a brilliant piece, but were at 
a loss to select one out of a number of popular subjects. 
Several were proposed; at last the Gipsy March out 
of Weber's " Preciosa " was chosen. " I will make a 
variation in minor, which shall growl below in the 
bass/' exclaimed Felix ; a will you do a brilliant one in 
major in the treble ?" And so it was settled that the 
Introduction as well as the first and second variations 
should fall to the lot of Mendelssohn, the third and 
fourth, with the connecting Tutti, to that of Moscheles. 
" We wished to share in the Finale ; so he began with 
the Allegro movement, which I broke in upon with a 
c piü lento/ M 

In two days the music was written, and they went 
from the Philharmonic at a late hour to Erard's, to 
have their first rehearsal. " We found two pianos 
ready, and our hasty patchwork delighted my wife, 
our solitary listener. If this midnight pianoforte 
rehearsal was a hurried affair, the orchestral one on 
the morning of the 30th of April was still more so ; 
we had only half a band, in consequence of the long 
rehearsal at the Opera, and only a few over-tired 
players arrived, and hastily ran through the new piece. " 
In spite of all these obstacles the Concert on the 1st 
of May was a real success. Not a soul observed that 
the duet had been merely sketched, and that each of 
us was allowed to improvise in his own solo, until at 
certain passages agreed on, we met again in due 



Mendelssohn's present to his godchild. 291 

harmony. The scheme, which seemed so very hazard- 
ous, ended triumphantly, and was received with 
applause. 

Mendelssohn, haying undertaken the conductorship 
of the Düsseldorf musical festival, was for a short time 
withdrawn from his friends in London, but soon re- 
turned, and this time accompanied by his excellent 
father. The two friends were rejoiced to meet again, 
and, at the christening of little Felix, Mendelssohn 
presented his godchild with an album, which, in spite 
of the repeated calls on his time in London, he had 
inaugurated with two sketches and a piece of music. 
" One of these drawings is a view of our own house, and 
the other a charming view in the Regent's Park. The 
composition is the ' cradle song/ with Klingemann's 
words, now so well known as ( Slumber and Dream/ 
There probably never was a happier christening fete 
than that of to-day. Our friends Neukomm and 
Barry Cornwall celebrated it with music and poetry." 

We find several notes which illustrate the constant 
intercourse between Moscheles and Mendelssohn. On 
one occasion the latter answers an invitation thus : 
" Alas ! we cannot ! To-day we have a dinner party 
of our own. I have just ordered salmon and lobster 
sauce for five people, so I must ' present my regrets/ 
Seriously speaking, Rosen, Henzler, and Klingcmann 
have promised to spend the evening with us, and there- 
fore, alas ! we cannot come to you. My father hopes 
to see you this morning to thank you." Here is a 

u 2 



292 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

note of Mendelssohn to Mrs. Moscheles : " Dear Mrs. 
Moscheles, — It is two o'clock, I am jnst back from 
the country and have received your note. At ten 
o' clock I ought to have been in Grosvenor Place. 
I should like to have done what you wanted ; but you 
must own that the fates wont allow either of my appear- 
ing to be, or really being fashionable. Lately you were 
kind enough to say to me that we might all three 
come to dine to-day (for Dr. Franck has actually 
arrived), but now I should like to know if you 
mean this in earnest, or if you do not, or if 
we may come. Please send by bearer a verbal 
decision \" 

The answer was of course in the affirmative. On 
the 6th of May Moscheles complains ; "How deadly 
slow and monotonous was H. in his Fantasia this 
evening at our house ; Mendelssohn yawned an obligato 
accompaniment. When we were once more alone, 
Felix and I had some glorious extempore playing 
together."" 

H. Herz, the brilliant player, suddenly appeared on 
the musical horizon. His rapidity of finger, his 
marked accent, as well as his light, melodious, and 
easily intelligible music produced a great effect. We 
read in the diary, " H. Herz completely drowned me 
with his furious bass, in the duet on subjects out of 
Auber's ' Philtre/ which I played, as a favour, with 
him at his own concert/'' This duet, however, 
ultimately became a favourite. 



HERZ. CRAMER. HUMMEL. 293 

Very comical was the contrast when J. B. Cramer 
consented to play, as a pianoforte duet, with Herz at 
his concert, the brilliant c Polonaise 3 of Beethoven. 
Moscheles compares Herz to a " young frisky colt," 
and Cramer to a " well-fed, cream-coloured state- 
horse, harnessed on great occasions to the royal 
carriage." Cramer and Hummel played in this same 
Concert Mozart's Fantasia in F minor, and that was far 
more effective. 

The concerts now follow closely on one another ; in 
that given by young Schulz, Moscheles took part, as 
one of six pianoforte players of the " Zauberflöte " 
overture. At Mori's he played with Mendelssohn 
the new piece on the " Preciosa" march. 

On the 10th of July all the musicians gave a grand 
concert for the benefit of a poor artist's family ; and 
Mendelssohn and Moscheles were two of the players 
in a piece written by Czerny for four pianos. 

On the 12th of July, Mr. Hope, owner of the 
famous picture-gallery, lends his house for a concert 
given for the benefit of the Hospital for Sick Children. 
" The music, to which I contributed my mite, was per- 
formed in the room of the masters of the Italian 
school ; if inclined to migrate, one could enjoy a stroll 
in a room full of Dutch pictures, but as Malibran 
and Paganini were amongst the performers, every 
one was satisfied to stop and listen." On one oc- 
casion, when Paganini ventured upon Beethoven's 
" Kreutzer Sonata, "Moscheles called it "a desecration." 



294 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

Incidentally, we read of a performance of HandePs 
" Messiah/'' ft I swallowed my dinner hastily, so as not 
to miss a note of this masterpiece, but, after listening 
with close attention for some time, I was mortified at 
finding that the small amount of vigour left to me after 
the rough-and-tumble of the season, was not enough 
to enable me to take in and digest such a colossal 
work. Such considerations always lead me back again 
to the thought of enjoying hereafter in Germany the 
fruits of my independence, won by my active exertions 
in England. What a melancholy evening last Thurs- 
day, when I heard Pasta's ' Romeo ;' she sang terribly 
out of tune. This great artiste, long past her prime, 
has lost her voice, and actually consents to barter her 
reputation for a heap of guineas ; it shocks me/ ; 

The first performance of "Euryanthe," on the 29th 
of June, in Covent Garden Theatre, and the admirable 
singing of Schröder and Haitzinger, were some com- 
pensation for Pasta' s shortcomings. 

At Drury Lane the sparkling, and in the vocal and 
histrionic way unique Malibran made a "furore" in the 
" DeviPs Bridge" and u Sonnambula"" set to English 
words. She was thoroughly realistic, and in her 
dress and movements despised everything conventional. 
Thus, in the sleep-walking scene, unlike other great 
representatives of the part, whose muslin neglige 
would have suited any lady, she adopted the bona-fide 
night-cap of the peasant girl, and the loose garment 
of a sleeper ; her " tricot" stockings were so transparent 



CHOPIN. MENDELSSOHN. 295 

as to veil her feet but imperfectly. Her acting in 
this opera was exquisitely touching, her outburst of 
sorrow so natural that she enlisted the sympathy of 
her audience from beginning to end of the piece. 

Moscheles studies of Chopin's music led him to 
make the following observation : " I gladly pass some 
of my leisure hours of an evening in cultivating an 
acquaintance with Chopin's Studies and his other com- 
positions. I am charmed with their originality, and 
the national colouring of his subjects. My thoughts, 
however, and through them my fingers, stumble at 
certain hard, inartistic, and to me inconceivable modu- 
lations. On the whole I find his music often too 
sweet, not manly enough, and hardly the work of a 
profound musician/' 

Again we find Mendelssohn mentioned in a letter ; 
' ( What endless music we have made together ! I 
made him play over and over again his own things, 
which I followed in the score. He would on these 
occasions imitate some one wind-instrument, or take 
up a point in a chorus with his clear tenor voice. 
Whenever he has arranged one of his overtures as a 
pianoforte duet, we try it over together, until we find 
it perfectly suitable for the piano." 

They often play to one another Beethoven's Sonatas, 
which not unfrequently diverge into joint improvisa- 
tions of the maddest kind, and musical caricatures. 
On one occasion the nursery song, " Polly put the 
kettle on," is chosen for a subject on purpose to please 



296 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

the two little girls, with whom Felix liked to laugh 
and play ; in a jovial mood he would often take them 
to the Zoological Gardens, and amuse them with all 
kinds of jokes. Amongst the many kind friends 
who visited at Chester Place, the children had the 
discrimination to fix on Mendelssohn as prime favourite. 
He and Moscheles were mutually attracted to one 
another as much by kindred tastes and sympathies 
as by music. Moscheles admired his friend's genius, 
and watched., without a particle of envy, the steadily 
increasing fame of the young composer, his former 
pupil ; Mendelssohn, on the other hand, was all de- 
votion, all gratitude for the rich treasure of ex- 
perience which the older master had stored up in 
his pianoforte works. They loved and esteemed each 
other, these feelings were reciprocated mutually in the 
two families, and the strength of this friendship was 
proved when the days of sorrow came. 

Mendelssohn, hearing of the death of his old master 
Zelter, goes off in haste at an early hour in the 
morning to Moscheles, announcing himself in such 
words as : " I cannot work, I should like to spend 
the day here." On one occasion, Mrs. Moscheles • 
being too unwell to accompany her husband away 
from home, Felix goes to spend the evening with her, 
and she records his conversation in letters to her 
father. If Felix came to her complaining of weariness, 
she used to make him sit down quietly on the sofa 
in a dark corner ; there he would rest for a few 



MENDELSSOHN. 297 

minutes whilst the children would stop their game 
and keep perfect silence. Then, after taking some 
slight refreshment, he would rouse himself and discuss 
with his usual animation some severe musical rehearsal, 
a morning concert, or a political meeting, where he 
was constantly to be found. She could venture to 
lecture him on his yesterday's visit, to tell him. that 
he had fidgeted and been fretful and impatient, in 
fact thoroughly unamiable, whereupon he would say, 
" Yes, but why does that person come just at that 
particular moment when I should have so enjoyed 
making music with Moscheles." Whenever about to 
leave England, he asks her to write. She is to 
tell him of this, that, and the other, for Moscheles 
has so little time ; she promises this, adding, " But 
don't answer ; you are a celebrated man, you have 
something better to do/' — a thing he would never 
allow. In his letters he frequently sends Serena 
messages about the carnation, his and her favourite 
flower. In the midst of the worries incidental to 
a musical festival, or on the journeys which Moscheles 
and he take together, he would add some words or 
pen-and-ink sketches to the letters of his friend, and 
when abroad send a first copy of his later published 
" Lieder," neatly written in the letter, immediately 
after they were composed, to Mrs. Moscheles. " A 
little song has just come into my head •" or, " Here 
is a song ; unfortunately it docs not suit your voice 
(referring to the tenor song ( Leucht' heller als die 



298 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

Sonne') ; I send it, however. Moscheles, perhaps, 
will hum it." . . . Pages such as these are care- 
fully preserved amongst the family treasures. 

During this visit to London, the elder Mendels- 
sohn was laid up for weeks by a tedious illness, 
and the family were very anxious about him. His 
weakened sight made constant reading impossible, so 
his friends, Mrs. Moscheles in particular, spent all their 
spare time with him. She writes to her father, " I read 
him the Times aloud, as I did to you, and he gives 
me very sound views about the education of children. 
I hope they will benefit my own, but whatever 
amount of time I am in his company, the hours fly 
rapidly, his conversation is so agreeable." On one 
occasion during this illness, Felix sends the following 
note to Mrs. Moscheles : — 

" My father begs to say that he cannot accept the 
offer of your carriage to-day ; the Miss Alexanders 
have sent him theirs ; but, that if you can make him 
a present of your time, you will oblige him by walking 
over with it to his house. This is expressed in very 
bad style ; but anyhow it's not your Platt-Deutsch, 
but rather my Berlinese — no offence — yours, 

" Pelix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. 

"P.S. — Yesterday the doctors were very hopeful. 
Brodie does not want to come again. Second post- 
script (the chief point) : How are you V 



MOORE COLERIDGE. 299 

Felix did not recover his good spirits and capa- 
city for work until his father had been completely 
restored to health, and the departure of their two 
friends on the 4th of August was a melancholy event 
to the Moscheles family. 

Amongst a number of commonplace and tedious soirees 
mentioned in the diary, Moscheles makes an exception 
in favour of one at the Lockharts. " His wife, Sir Walter 
Scott's eldest daughter, has all her father's amiabi- 
lity. We saw there for the first time Thomas Moore, 
the poet, a little lively sparkling Irishman, who, on the 
strength of his passion for music, immediately made ac- 
quaintance with me, He sang his own poems, adapted 
to certain Irish melodies, harmonized and accompanied 
by himself on the guitar. i Le genre est petit/ 
thought I, but the novelty made it interesting to us. 
The poet Coleridge was there too, still bright and 
cheerful, although looking an old man. Of authoresses 
we had the Ladies Stepney and Charlotte Bury. After 
Moore had given us his Irish melodies, I was obliged 
to go to the piano, and share with the poet the 
exaggerated compliments paid us by the company." 

In August Moscheles and his family went to Hast- 
ings. " What a pity," writes Moscheles, " that a bevy 
of lady-lodgers in the house spoil, by their strumming, 
all my musical enjoyment, not to mention my musical 
thoughts. They play on the piano and guitar, c La ci 
darem/ as a presto, and lieissiger's Waltz as a sen- 
timental Andante." To bear this for any length of 



300 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

time was intolerable ; and, finding no suitable lodgings 
in Hastings, the Moscheles withdrew to St. Leonards. 

On returning to London, we read of visits to both 
Houses of Parliament, an interesting debate in the 
Commons, when O'Connell spoke, and of a four hours' 
discussion on " Captain Napier's victory on behalf 
of Don Pedro." 

On the 11th of November Moscheles writes : " Yes- 
terday at the performance of ( Hamlet/ at Drury 
Lane, I was forcibly reminded by a celebrated passage 
of what I am always preaching to my pupils, l Self- 
command in the midst of a difficult performance, and 
a quiet mastery over oneself/ The great poet makes 
Hamlet sav, i Do not saw the air too much with 
your hand thus, but use all gently, for in the very 
torrent, tempest, and, I may say, whirlwind of your 
passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance 
that may give it smoothness/ w With regard to the 
first performance of Auber's " Bal-masque," we read ; 
" The music is often deafening, but often piquant, 
the ball wonderfully brilliant." 

Moscheles' chief employment this winter was com- 
posing during his evenings at home the B major 
Concerto (fantastique) . Besides this he wrote the 
Impromptu in E flat major and the more common- 
place Divertimento, " Operatic Reminiscences." His 
well-known good nature was put to the test by 
frequent interruptions of these labours. " A friend," 
he says, " brings me his l Swiss Divertimento ' for 



BARON RATHEN. 301 

revision. I deal with it as Kotzebue makes his 
amanuensis do, who only leaves the words, ' My 
dear friend/ standing at the top of the page, and 
adds the rest. Adding, the rest cost me two quiet 
evenings. A third I was forced to sacrifice to the 
Hungarian Baron Rathen, who wanted to play over to 
me from beginning to end his ' musical love- scene 
interrupted by a storm/ On his English card he 
calls himself ' Teacher of the Organ, Piano, and Doro- 
Bass (thorough-bass) " 

On the 31st of December, Moscheles writes in his 
Diary, " On reckoning I find I have given this year 
1457 lessons, of which 1328 were paid, and 129 
gratis. Of the latter class, those I gave to LitolfF, who 
is making rapid strides, were the most interesting."" 



302 



CHAPTEE XVI. 

1834. 



STARS OF THE ITALIAN OPERA — GRISI, RUBINI, AND TAMBURINI — 
DE VRUGT — VIEUXTEMPS — LADY VIOLIN-PLAYERS — FESTIVAL IN 
WESTMINSTER ABBEY — DISTRIBUTION OF THE CHORUS— COM- 
PARISON OF THE TWO FESTIVALS IN 1784-1834 SOLO- 
SINGERS — TENORS AND SOPRANOS — "ISRAEL IN EGYPT" — THE 
" MESSIAH" — DEMEANOUR OF THE AUDIENCE — FESTIVAL AT BIR- 
MINGHAM — OVERTURE TO " JOAN OF ARC" — BYRON'S " MANFRED " 
AT COVENT-GARDEN. 



MOSCHELES writes at the beginning of the 
year, " We are in January, and already the 
chief topic of conversation is the grand music festival 
to be given next June in Westminster Abbey. It is 
the musical event of the year." 

Before that takes place we should record the sensa- 
tion created by the stars of the Italian Opera, 
Grisi, Rubini, and Tamburini. Grisi, although in- 
ferior as an actress to Pasta, as a musician to Malibran, 
and lacking the charm and loveliness of Sontag, 
still captivated her listeners by her youth, beauty, 
and the freshness and glory of her voice. Rubini 
maintained his long-recognised position as a master 
of his art, and Tamburini, with his classical profile 
and fine mellow voice, contributed his full share 
to the triumph of this world-renowned trio. 



OVERTURE TO " MELUSINE. 308 

IvanhofF, an Italianized Russian, attracted the public 
by his great flexibility of voice, but displeased my 
German ear by using his head voice too frequently, 
particularly when singing Schubert's " Serenade." His 
sickly sentimental style became so wearisome, that 
some wag circulated a joke about him, declaring his 
real name was, u Fve enough." 

Moscheles played his new Concerto Pathetique at 
the Philharmonic, and directed on the same occasion 
Mendelssohn's still unknown overture to " Melusine ;" 
both novelties were received coldly. Mrs. Moscheles 
writes an account of the concert to Mendelssohn, 
whose characteristic answer we commend to our 
readers : " So the people at the Philharmonic did 
not like my ' Melusine ' ? Heigh-ho ! The news wont 
kill me. I certainly was sorry when I got your 
letter, and I played off my overture right through, to 
see if I too dislike it now ; but it does give me pleasure, 
so there's not much harm done, or would you have me 
believe that you would receive me in a less friendly 
way at my next visit ? That would be a pity, 
that would distress me very much. But I hope 
not, and perhaps it may please somewhere else, or if not 
I will write something else, and that may please better. 
But after all, my chief delight is in the fact that such a 
thing exists in writing; and if besides that, such kind 
words are bestowed on it as you and Moscheles send 
me, it has been well received, and I can quietly go 
on working. I utterly fail to understand what you 



304 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

tell me in your letter, of the cold reception given to 
Moscheles' new Concerto. I should have thought it as 
clear as noonday that that must please them, and still 
more so when he plays it to them. But when will it 
be published ? I am longing to attack it." 

We find Moscheles less inclined than ever to come 
to terms with the Manager of the Italian Opera. He 
writes : " Now I will see if I am not able to be quit of 
an extortionate impressario, and to fill my room without 
the assistance of his Italian singers. If I don't 
succeed, so much the more shame for me, and 1 must 
hang up ' my harp and music on the willow- tree/ " 
He did succeed however, some artists supported him, 
amongst them a new tenor just arrived from Holland, 
De Vrugt, who soon made himself a name ; he 
engaged Madame Stockhausen — the room was full, 
and the audience enthusiastic. At the beginning of the 
season, a host of artists put in an appearance ; amongst 
them Vieuxtemps, a wonderful boy, who attracted great 
attention by his fine violin-playing. There were two 
lady violin-players as well, Filiepowitz aud Paravicini, 
who were much talked about. Mrs. Anderson, the 
favourite English pianiste, had been selected by the 
Duchess of Kent to teach the Princess Victoria. 
Her concert this year, pati'onized and attended by 
these Royal ladies, was one of the most brilliant of 
this season. 

"With regard to the festival in Westminster Abbey, 
it is owing to Moscheles' scrupulous care in arranging 



HANDEL FESTIVAL. 305 

and preserving the accounts written at the time, that 
we are enabled, after a lapse of eight-and-thirty 
years, to give an accurate and faithful description of 
all that took place. " Handel," observes a writer 
of the day, " introduced the oratorio into England: 
no wonder the festival named after him should be held 
in Westminster Abbey, where he lies buried." Ac- 
cording to the paper we quote from, the proceeds of a 
series of Festivals between the years 1784 and 1791 
amounted in all to 50,000/., and were entirely devoted 
to charitable purposes. It mentions, too, the legacy 
left by Handel to the iC Society of Decayed Musicians 
and their Families," and eulogizes King William IV. 
and Queen Adelaide, who, after a lapse of fifty years, 
zealously promoted this new festival, devoted to the 
same charitable objects, and for which the sympathies 
and aid of the English nobility were called forth by 
the generous support of the Royal patrons. 

With regard to the festival itself, Moscheles writes 
to his relatives : ft The festival took place in the nave, 
which was covered over with stout deal boards ; at one 
end of the Abbey was seen the Royal box, with its 
heavy red satin curtains, rich ornaments, and luxu- 
rious velvet carpets and cushions, and adorned with the 
Royal Arms artistically carved. The Directors of the 
festival sat immediately under the Royal box, with a 
canopy above them. The public, on this occasion, as in 
1784, occupied seats arranged in the style of an amphi- 
theatre, and reaching as high as the capitals of the pillars. 

VOL. I. X 



306 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

2700 persons found accommodation ; the best seats 
cost two, and the others one guinea each. These seats, 
covered with red cloth and gold ornaments, contrasted 
tastefully with the white and gold lyres on red draperies, 
which were hung upon the walls. The orchestra, on 
this, as on the former occasion, was erected opposite 
the Koyal box, and in the following fashion. In front 
were the solo singers, then the small chorus, 40 
strong ; close to this chorus, at a piano, sat Sir George 
Smart, the director of the music ; behind him, the 
band, ranged in tiers ; the cellos on either side, the 
violins in the centre, then the wind-instruments ; 
above all, the magnificent organ, built by Gray for the 
occasion, and adorned with a richly carved Gothic 
facade ; by a clever arrangement the player was 
made to face the Director instead of the organ. 
The distribution of the vocalists forming the grand 
chorus greatly prejudiced the effect of the music with 
numbers who were packed closely in the side aisles 
and niches of the Abbey; in fact, the choral music to 
a part of the audience sounded as though it were 
smothered by the orchestra; in other parts of the 
Abbey the effect was reversed, and the performance as 
a whole could only be enjoyed in a small part of the 
vast building." 

We give a list of the executants as represented on 
the occasion of the two Music Festivals in 1784 and 
1834 (the list of the first is copied from Dr. Bumey's 
Musical History) : — 



HANDEL FESTIVALS: 1784 AND 1834. 307 



Instrumental 




1834. 


1784. 


Violins . . . 


. 80 .. 


95 


Tenors . . 






. 32 .. 


26 


Violoncellos 






18 .. 


21 


Double Basses 






18 .. 


15 


Flutes . . 






10 . 


6 


Oboes . . 






12 .. 


26 


Clarinets 






8 .. 




Bassoons 






12 .. 


27 


Horns . . . 






10 .. 


12 


Trumpets . 






. 8 .. 


12 


Trombones . 






8 .. 


6 


Ophicleides . 






2 .. 




Serpents . . 






2 .. 




Kettle-drums . 






3 .. 
223 


4 
250 



Vocal. 

Sopranos . . 
Sopranos (boys) 
Altos .... 
Tenors . . . 
Basses .... 
Solo-Singers . 
The above Instru 
ments . . 



1834. 1784. 



113 
32 
74 
70 

103 
5 



11 

47 
48 
83 
84 
2 



223 ... 250 



Total 620 525 



We quote from the diary : " On the 20th of June 
at twelve o'clock in the forenoon, Sir George Smart 
for the first time raised his baton, and Handel's 
Coronation Anthem, performed by such a host, in such 
a place, was so grand that none present are likely to 
forget it ; the newspapers talked of several ladies 
weeping, and some actually fainting. I was deeply 
moved by these sounds, and must confess I never heard 
such an effect produced before. We had the whole 
of the c Creation/ and a part of { Samson.' The solo 
singers were old Bellamy, who had sung in 1784, 
E. Seguin, a young pupil of the Royal Academy of 
Music, and the admirable Phillips ; the tenors were 
represented by Hobbs and the inimitable liraham ; 
Miss Stevens and Madame Caradori Allan, both excel- 
lent, sang the soprano parts. The chorus and orchestra 

x 2 



308 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

were first rate, and the first day might deserve to be 
called a perfect success." 

The second day was opened by another Coronation 
Anthem by Handel ; and the " Hallelujah" electrified 
the audience. Then with a view of producing 
certain effects in preference to giving any one work in 
its entirety, a selection had been made of sacred 
pieces, in which singers, as well as wind-instrument 
players, could have an opportunity of display. 

Everybody was to have his or her chance, Rubini, 
Zucchelli, with Lindley's violoncello, and Braham, 
with Harper's trumpet-obligato. Phillips had a song 
with a bassoon accompaniment, Miss Stevens and Grisi 
also had parts assigned them in this selection. Then 
followed the finest perhaps of all Handel's oratorios, 
" Israel in Egypt," which was splendidly performed. 
The newspapers were rapturous on the subject. With 
reference to the closing numbers of that Oratorio, the 
Athenäum said, " One feels so elevated by this music 
that we seem to live in those great days when the 
Lord went before His people in the cloud or pillar of 
fire. But once let the celestial strains end, and we 
wake again to the pale reality of our shadow-like 
everyday existence." " My own impression," adds 
Moscheles, " far exceeded all that I ever dreamt of 
realizing, and I believe my feelings were in unison with 
nearly all of those who were present." On the 3rd day, 
unfortunately, a medley of airs, choruses, and en- 
sembles was again given ; a programme with abrupt 



PERFORMANCE OE THE "MESSIAH. 309 

transitions from ancient to modern compositions. Fof 
the 4th day the Queen, following the precedent of 
Queen Charlotte, had commanded the " Messiah." To 
a German musician it seems but natural that the chief 
interest should be concentrated on this majestic work. 
The tickets for admission to the performance, as well 
as for the rehearsals, were soon bought up, and the 
public, unable to procure any at the regular prices, 
was forced to pay exorbitantly. Every nook and 
corner of the Abbey was occupied, and a truly de- 
votional spirit seemed to prevail. The Times, which 
during the previous days had never resented the want of 
taste shown in giving disjointed works, found room in 
its columns, when the festival was over, for imparting 
as a piece of advice : " The effect of such performances 
would be enhanced, if the oratorios were given, not 
piecemeal, but in their entirety, just as the composer 
intended they should be given." Moscheles writes on 
this subject: — " The advice on this point came certainly 
too late — of course to a German musician, much of 
the arrangement of these programmes was an offence, 
and yet the general effect was so grand that it would 
be thankless to point out the obvious anomalies. The 
veneration with which the English traditionally regard 
their noble abbey, found expression in the dignified 
attitude and frame of mind observable in the audience, 
which crowded within the sacred walls, and the thrill 
of awe which penetrated these large masses spoke more 
eloquently than any cheers or clapping of hands. The 



310 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

King and Queen, who attended daily, were regarded as 
the patrons of a great and beneficent work, that was 
fittingly supported by the whole nation. Such are my 
feelings — you may call them fanciful if you please, but 
they were suggested to me by the bearing and 
demeanour of the crowd that was present." 

Moscheles had only just returned from the sea- 
side, where he had gone for fresh air and change, 
when he found himself once more obliged to prepare 
for a grand musical festival at Birmingham ; there he. 
performed his " Alexander Variations " and the 
u Recollections of Ireland/'' The powerful tones of 
the Erard were heard all over the colossal and crowded 
hall, which was not intended for solo instruments ; and 
the Spectator went so far as to say that a large 
crowd outside enjoyed the performance. The pro- 
ceeds of the whole festival realized 14,000/. 

" 16th October. — I was hard at work with my 
overture to ' Joan of Arc/ " Moscheles writes, 
" when the fearful news reached me that the 
House of Lords was on fire. The fact was 
only too soon confirmed by flames appearing on 
the horizon." .... When the overture was finished 
and arranged as a pianoforte duet, he substituted 
for the brilliant and noisy finale a soft pathetic 
strain, which he thought more suitable to Johanna's 
death. On this subject we read in a letter 
of Moscheles : " In this overture I have aimed at 
elevation, harmony, and unity of ideas. Assuming I 



BYRONS "MANFRED. 311 

have the proper audience, the work might please ; but 
whoever looks for trivial, easy, Italian sing-song, will 
find nothing in it ; nor will those be pleased who 
think a minute working out of individual parts, or 
the introduction of unexpected harmonies, too learned. 
These just give the keenest relish to those initiated in 
the secrets of counterpoint. I hold that the treatment 
of a melody, and clearness as well as unity and an 
interesting fusion of the leading subjects, are the most 
important ingredients in a composition, and shall 

always strive to attain these objects 

Mendelssohn's Octet, in which you complain of an 
absence of melody, has a tendency to the elaborate 
(künstlich), and yet the frequent hearing of that 
admirable work, and that, too, in a spirit of careful 
analysis, is well worth the trouble, if it leads to the 
proper appreciation of an originality which never 

degenerates into anything extravagant 

There is not much sympathy here with Spohr's 
' Weihe der Töne/ Haslinger offered through me to 
the Philharmonic Society the copyright of the work 
for two or three years, but the Society refused." 

" This winter Byron's c Manfred/ with choruses 
set by Bishop, was given as a novelty in Covent 
Garden Theatre. There was an immense outlay in 
scenery and decorations, the music was not much 
more enjoyable than that of the ' Bravo/ by Marliani ; 
a melange made up of the well-worn phrases of Rossini, 
Pacini, and Mcrcadantc. The beauty of the mise-en- 



312 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

scene would have done equally well, apart from the 
ear-torture " 

" My wife/' writes Moseheles, " who reads aloud to 
me whilst I correct my work, happened at this time 
to select c Unlandes Poems/ This suggested to 
me vocal settings of ' Der Schmidt/ ' Das Reh/ 
and ' Das Gärtnerslied/ w 

Towards the end of the year he was busy with 
preparations for a private performance of the " Israel 
in Egypt." Some chorister boys from the Westminster 
Abbey Choir, and some well-trained amateurs, were 
asked to join. The chief supporters, however, were 
Madame Caradori-Allan, Röckel, and Taylor. This 
performance was a worthy finale for the year 1834. 



313 



CHAPTEB XVII. 
1835. 

"TRIAL NCGHT" OF THE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY — AN UNMANNERLY 

nobleman — litolff's compositions — berlioz' "symphonie 
fantastique" — musical pains and pleasures — julius benedict 
— Cramer's retirement — visit to Germany— Leipzig — inter- 
course WITH MUSICAL ARTISTS — FELIX MENDELSSOHN — LETTERS 
TO MADAME MOSCHELES — CONCERT — BERLIN — A FAMILY FATE — 
MUSICAL ABSURDITIES — A PAINFUL AFFAIR — DEATH OF MENDELS- 
SOHN'S FATHER — HOLLAND AND BELGIUM. 

AT the beginning of this year, the Philharmonic 
Society held its first " Trial Night " for new 
compositions, when Spohr^s " Weihe der Töne" was con- 
ducted by Sir George Smart. " This able conductor/' 
says Moscheles, " succeeded at this first rehearsal in 
carrying the band through the whole of the work 
correctly, although of course without that delicacy, 
light, and shade requisite for so intricate a work, the 
Andante of which, with its 3-8 and 9-16 time, con- 
stituted in itself a considerable difficulty. I followed 
the performance with the score, and was delighted 
with the solidity of the entire work, as well as the 
beauty of its details ; still, the too great predominance 
of Spohrish colour and form to some extent quenched 
my enthusiasm. Nothing but genius and wealth of 
invention can kindle me into rapture." 

When Moscheles conducted, there was a successful 



314 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

performance of his overture to " Joan of Arc/' and 
the youthful Sterndale Bennett, a pupil of Cipriani 
Potter, played a pianoforte concerto of his own com- 
position ; Moscheles thought highly of the performer, 
his playing, and the concerto as well. 

Moscheles' services as a public performer and teacher 
were in constant requisition at this time in Bath, Man- 
chester, and other places. In the midst of all his nume- 
rous engagements, he never neglected his habit of writing 
daily to his wife, but his letters at this period, being 
for the most part of a domestic character, are omitted. 

When once back in London business engagements 
accumulate, and Moscheles might exclaim with Figaro 
in the " Barbiere di Siviglia," " Tutti mi chiedono, 
tutti mi vogliono." To one treated, as we have 
seen, with marked courtesy by all with whom he 
came in contact, the following episode must have 
been eminently distasteful. " I had/' he says, 
" during the last season given lessons to two young- 
ladies, the daughters of Lord . The treatment I 

experienced in this household, where even the servants 
were disrespectful, was only to be met by the inde- 
pendent airs I was forced to assume, to assert my 
rights as a gentleman. Although not offered a chair, 
I sat down in presence of the lady, and insisted 
on walking up the principal staircase, although I was 
shown the back one. After waiting in vain for nearly 
nine months for 35/. due to me, a steward appeared 
at my house, and, finding only my wife at home, pro- 
duced my account, on which the noble lord had 



Mendelssohn's organ eugues. 315 

written — c Pay this man 15/. on account.' My wife 
remonstrated, whereupon the steward answered in 
a sympathizing tone, ' Well, Ma'am, I advise you 
to take it while you can get it/ It then occurred to 
her that, the family being reported somewhat impe- 
cunious, she had better accept the man's advice. 
Soon afterwards my lady sent to beg I would again 
resume my lessons with her daughters. I refused. 
Then came an exceedingly polite question from my 
lord, asking the reasons of my refusal, and would I 

state them verbally? &c. I did so. Lord and Lady 

overloaded me with civility, and I agreed once more 
to give four lessons a week. Such people should be 
taught manners as well as music." 

Moscheles says of himself in a letter : " I am 
always longing to compose, but how am I to find 
time ? To be sure I have published two little Lieder ; 
one a setting of Byron's c There be none of Beauty's 
daughters,' and c Im Herbste/ by Uhland. Owing to 
interruptions, I have not succeeded in finishing my 
' Concerto Pathetique / besides these, I should like to 
write a new Introduction to my * Hommage ä Handel,' 
which I composed in the year 1822/' This intention 
he carried out at this period, and the work in its 
entirety has frequently been performed in public. 

Later on we read : u To-day Klingemann brought 
us two organ fugues, arranged as duets by Mendels- 
sohn. My wife and I attacked them instantly ; they 
are admirable, like everything else that he presents 
to the musical world." 



316 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

Just at this time Litolff published many of his 
early and very promising compositions, and at the 
same time Chopin's graceful " Scherzo " and " Grand 
Studies" appeared. " I am a sincere admirer of his 
originality/' says Moscheles ; " he has given piano- 
forte-players all that is newest and most attractive. 
Personally, I dislike his artificial and forced modula- 
tion. My fingers struggle and tumble over such 
passages ; practise them as I will, I never can do them 
smoothly/'' With regard to Berlioz' " Symphonie 
Fantastique," which the publishers sent him in a 
pianoforte edition, he observes : " I can hardly form 
an opinion of the work before I know the score, but 
I cannot reconcile myself to the eternal unisons, 
octave passages, and tremolandos. I do not find 
a healthy sequence of harmonic progressions. His 
' Dies Irse ' and the ' Witches' Sabbath' seem to me 
indicative of a diseased fancy; and the development 
of figures heaped one on another often ends in a 
tight Gordian knot — who will cut it asunder ? The 
young man, however, has warmth and poetic feeling, 
and certain isolated passages remind me in their 
grandeur of an ancient Torso." 

Moscheles is amused and displeased alternately 
with his strange experiences during the London 
season. " If called on to reckon up our musical 
pains as well as pleasures, I must compare the swarm of 
foreign musicians who obscure the horizon, to the locusts 
which darkened the Egyptian sky. One of our visitors 



ARRIVAL OF BENEDICT. 317 

carries trie German simplicity to such an extent as 
to speak no other language but his own ; yet he travels 
hither on purpose to be recognised by the English. 
In language and conduct he is an exact counterpart 
of Dominie Sampson, and insists on bringing with 
him each time his pupil — a tiresome young Dutch- 
man. Yesterday they both met with that strange fellow 

H , with his odd medley of French and German ; 

the party were joined by a regular John Bull, who 
speaks and composes only in his own language. The 
result of these compounds is a strange medley of 
discords. At dinner, the German takes kindly to 
everything on the table ; but the Frenchman turns 
up his nose at every little grain of pepper, and the 
Englishman, before he touches anything, covers the 
rim of his plate with mustard, cayenne, and spices, 
so that it looks like a painter's palette. Having to 
do the part of interpreters, we didn't get much dinner, 
and it was all we could do to smother our laughter ; 
for at last, in despair of communicating with one 
another, the German and the Englishman talked 
Latin, but were out in their reckoning — for each one 
pronounced it in a different way, and confusion 
became worse confounded/' 

In this year Julius Benedict first became a member 
of the great musical guild in London, and asserted his 
position at once as an excellent musician and piano- 
forte player. His long residence in Italy made him 
peculiarly fitted as an accompanist to the Italian 



318 LIFE OE MOSCHELES. 

singers; and in Moscheles' house he was heartily- 
welcomed as a distinguished compatriot. 

J. B. Cramer, wishing in his old age to retire to 
Munich, gave a farewell concert, and was invited by 
his friends to a musical banquet. " We pianoforte 
players/' says Moscheles, " had selected Cramer's 
compositions for our performance ; he himself played 
with much grace and delicacy Mozart's Concerto in D. 
Lastly, when called on to extemporize, I selected 
themes out of his works ; this delighted and affected 
him also." Cramer did not long remain in Munich, 
but chose to end his days in strict retirement in 
England. 

In July, Moscheles writes : ff The season is closing, 
and soon I shall have no ladies' fingers to doctor. I 
cannot undertake to doctor the ears of my pupils." 
He travels to Hamburg, leaves his family there, and 
goes to Leipzig, where Mendelssohn has just entered 
on his duties as conductor of the Gewandhaus Concerts. 
He writes from Leipzig : — 

" My Dear Wife. — You may fancy how I enjoy 
this meeting with my mother and sister. Kistner, 
who is very zealous in my interests, accompanied 
me to Mendelssohn, who is comfortably and agree- 
ably settled outside the town, in Reichel's Garden. 
He received me with his usual simplicity and heartiness, 
making eager, nay affectionate inquiries for you. I 
don't think him looking handsomer or more blooming 
(being as he is between youth and manhood), but he 



MOSCHELES VISITS LEIPZIG. 319 

was more full of wit, liveliness, and cleverness than 
ever. He played me three new l Lieder ohne Worte/ 
which are worthy successors to those already written. 
I have played him nothing of my own as yet. My 
mother looks remarkably well. People on all sides 
call her a handsome old lady, and she really seems 
to me much younger than she is. I visited the 
Wiecks, and Clara played to me a good deal ; amongst 
other things a manuscript sonata by Schumann — very 
laboured, difficult, and somewhat intricate, although 
interesting music. Her playing was admirable, and 
void of all affectation. After dinner, I returned to 
my mother's, and then adjourned with Felix to Hauser's 
for a cup of coffee. We amused ourselves by serious 
and desultory playing upon his Streicher piano, which 
I shall probably bespeak for my concert, although Felix 
has offered me his own. Felix took me afterwards to 
see Dr. HärteFs new country-house, close to the 
rampart. In the evening I was again at the Wiecks'', 
to meet Schumann, who is a retiring but interesting 
young man. Again I made Clara play to me, and 
again she distinguished herself. I gave them a taste 
of my extempore playing/' 

On the 2nd of October he writes: "8 a.m. — I 
expect Felix j meanwhile I will begin the day as I 
like best, by asking after you and the children. Is 
Emily composing ? Serena learning an epic poem by 
heart? Felix storming a fortress somewhere? On 
all these points I hope information is on the road to 



320 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

me. 9 o'clock. — Felix is here, and I am going with 
him to his lodgings, to hear him play over his new 
oratorio. " " And now " — Mendelssohn adds — " let 
me slip in with all haste, between the envelope and 
wafer, my hearty greetings and thanks. I hope one 
of these days to write more fully ; at present we are 
in all the hurry and confusion of Moscheles'' first 
day, and all my morning will he occupied in hearing 
a deal of his new music. You may fancy how eagerly 
I look forward to that ! But you really spoil me by 
sending me such a wonderfully pretty present. We 
must be off; good-bye for to-day. My love to your 
little ones, amongst whom Emily can't any longer be 
reckoned."" 

On the following day, Moscheles says : " Kistner 
accompanied me on a visit to that dear venerable old 
man, Hofrath Rochlitz, who received me most kindly, 
and was very communicative. After expressing his 
gratification with my present visit, my playing, and 
my compositions, he recapitulated the various impres- 
sions which I made on him since my first appearance 
with the Alexander March in the year 1815, and said 
many flattering things about my development in art. 
He was to me quite as interesting as his ' Essays for 
Musical Amateurs/ the reading of which we used to 
enjoy. Towards evening I spent an hour with my 
mother, amusing her with stories about our London life. 
I then went to Felix, who asked me to drink tea with 
him every evening; he is very comfortably settled — it 



MENDELSSOHN " EN GARCON. 321 

> 

reminded me of my own bachelor days. His Erard 
stands in the middle of the room, and in his book- 
case — a perfect storehouse of musical scores — I saw a 
splendidly-bound edition of Handel. On the table 
his silver inkstand, presented by the Philharmonic 
Society, on the walls two charming engravings, one of 
Titian's daughter, and the other a portrait of Schätzel 
(a celebrated singer), on the piano a delightful litter of 
scores and new music, still cleanliness and neatness 
prevailing everywhere. We drank tea and chatted until 
the advocate Schrey (one of the concert-directors) joined 
us. He is a musical enthusiast, with a fine tenor 
voice, and sang a couple of delightful new Lieder by 
Felix, which I hope to copy and bring to you. I 
played my ' Concerto Fantastique } and the ' Pathe- 
tique/ about which many kind things were said, and 
lastly the Rondo which Felix dedicated to me. We 
played together my Overture and his Octet ; every- 
thing went smoothly, as you may fancy. We went 
on till eleven o'clock, and Felix lent me his cloak, that 
I should not catch cold after the number of ' hot 
notes/ He is a glorious fellow. By-the-bye, Felix 
cheerfully consented to play my last duet with me 
at my concert, but the Committee must be duly ap- 
prized of the fact. Yesterday, when he called upon 
my mother, she wanted him to play, but he had a 
fit of his well-known modesty, and declined. I must 

now tell you what befell me to-day I went 

with Felix to the rehearsal ; his admirable conducting, 
vol. i. y 



322 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

speeches, and observations — in fact, his general be- 
haviour to the orchestra — fills his subordinates with 
affection and respect. His overture to the { Calm 
Sea and Prosperous Voyage ' (of which one can get 
no idea from the pianoforte arrangement), as well as 
Beethoven's B flat Symphony, went beautifully. The 
rehearsal lasted until 12*30; then I went to my 
mother, and thence with Felix to the table d'hote. 
We were invited to Wieck's to meet Schumann and 
others ; Clara Wieck played in Beethoven's great 
Trio superbly. I went to the theatre to hear Auber's 
' Cheval de Bronze ;' but oh, misery ! bad music, 
singers, and subject ! What a pity to lose my even- 
ing, and be forced to pay dearly for my curiosity \" 

" Eleven at night. — Late as it is, I must tell you 
that I made my concert arrangements with Kistner, 
and then went to Felix, with whom I tried over, from 
the proof-sheets, my ' Hommage ä Handel/ but in a 
curious manner. He has but one piano — his own 
Erard — but he remembered to have heard some one 
practising occasionally in the next room, occupied by 
an elderly lady. Before his door, leading to her room, 
stood a wooden press, too big to be moved without 
great trouble. Felix went to the lady, and asked her 
leave to play in her room whilst I played in his; the 
lady gladly consented ; we opened the doors, but the 
press remained immovable. The instruments hap- 
pened to be in tune together, and the whole thing 
went capitally ; Kistner, and an organist of the name 



MENDELSSOHN. — HAUSER. 323 

of Reichard, were present, and were so delighted that 
we determined to play this piece at my concert. 
Amongst the new things which Felix played again 
to me are two pianoforte Capriccios and a Fugue 
in quick time in F minor — all admirable in their 
way. We dined at Hauser's (the bass singer at the 
theatre and Felix's intimate friend), and after dinner 
played all sorts of music, grave and gay, upon his 
Streicher, which he lends me for my concert. 
Felix played me a Concerto by J. S. Bach, out of 
Häuser' s fine collection ; Häuser then sang a very funny 
song by the old composer Hiller, in which the word 
* nose ' plays a conspicuous part. I intend to copy it 
and bring it to you. (Häuser wished to do this 
himself, and sent the song to Mrs. Moscheles, who 
still has it.) I took my mother and sister to the subscrip- 
tion concert, and remained the whole evening with 
them. Felix was very well received. His ' Meeres- 
stille ' was delightful, and received with great applause. 
The rest I will tell you by word of mouth. After the 
concert I took my ladies home, met Felix and Häuser 
at supper in the hotel, afterwards accompanied and 
walked home with them in the bright moonlight, and 
now I bid you good night." 

"October 5, 1F30 p.m. — I am just entering my 
room, which I have not seen since early this morning ; 
only fancy, I could not have a piano in it, there is 
such a dearth of good instruments in Leipzig. Your 
letter came early to hand. Felix and I are so glad 

y 2 



324 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

you have been playing his Octet. He tells me how 
grieved he is at not having as yet been able to thank 
you in writing. In fact he speaks of his gratitude as 
he would write it. . . . Table d'hote, with Schumann, 
the tenor, Wild, and others." 

i( October 6. — I went on with my letter at noon, 
when all business in Leipzig, save that of knife and 
fork, is at a standstill. I wanted, just now, to go 
through my part of Bach's triple concerto, but found 
all the pianoforte warehouses shut. I had no time 
to go to Felix before dinner at one o'clock ; I am sure 
to do justice to it, for I am in unusually good health 
here. To-day I visited my mother, and amused her 
with my album. I have come across a little volume 
called ' Bettina' s Diary/ which precedes her corre- 
spondence with Goethe. If you are curious in the 
matter, you can easily get a copy." 

" Five in the afternoon. — I am just come from 
Wieck's, where Clara played admirably in one of 
Schubert's trios. Bach's Concerto for three pianos, 
performed by her, Felix, and myself, was very interest- 
ing ; I am having it copied for London. You ought to 
have seen poor Felix accompanying a very inferior 
singer, and watched him as he sat on the stool of 
penitence, with thirty listeners around him. His eyes 
sparkled like those of a baited tiger, and you could have 
lit a candle at his cheeks, they burned so. I am just 
going to mark my newly-printed concert tickets. I 
miss your helping hand, but as I write each separate 



CONCERT AT LEIPZIG. 325 

ticket, I can think quietly of you, which is a delightful 
feeling. To-day Felix told me the Directors wished 
me to play next Sunday in the second subscription 
concert. Tie advised me to make them give me room 
and lights, gratis, for my concert, instead of the cus- 
tomary five or six louis d'or, and I find he is right. 
One thought troubles me about my return home. 
The coach only goes on Monday mornings early at 
five, and on Tuesday evenings at nine. The first is 
too near to the Concert, the second too late for my 
impatience." 

" October 9. — I am writing to you just after I have 
received your letter. . . . My one absorbing thought 
is when I shall talk to you. On Sunday I play at 
the subscription concert my G minor Concerto, and I 
hope I shall find some time for writing before the 
coach leaves. My concert will be a brilliant one this 
evening ; there is a great rush for tickets ; seven 
hundred and fifty are already disposed of, and pro- 
bably as many will have to be sent back from the 
doors. My mother and sister send best love." 

" October 10. — I wish I could give the post wings 
to tell you the news of my unusually brillant concert 
at Leipzig. The crowd was immense. My mother 
felt quite young again. My overture was admirably 
played. The Concertos ( Pathetique' and ( Fantastique' 
received with immense applause. My duet with 
Felix created a regular ' furore/ They wanted to 
encore it ; but we resisted, the heat was so great. My 



326 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

Fantasia, too, was very well received. The gross 
receipts were 497 thalers, expenses 70 thalers, so there 
is a surplus of 427. By playing at the subscrip- 
tion concert I shall defray the other expenses. 
Besides the G minor Concerto, which went very well at 
the rehearsal to-day, my overture was repeated, as well 
as our duet, which we played by request. Felix 
is so good to me, so amiable and unpretending ; 
he told me that, before I came, he had been think- 
ing, and hoping, and wondering whether I would 
like to play a duet with him, and how he intended 
to have written to me on the subject. He is idolized 
here, and lives on the most friendly terms with many 
musicians and notabilities, although he is intimate 
with but few, and reserved towards many. He is 
particularly attentive to my mother. You are right ; 
my intercourse with him quickens my energies, 
independent of the pleasure I have in his 
society/' 

" Sunday. — We had to attend a dinner, which was 
anything but pleasant, and when we went away toge- 
ther, Felix fired off a volley of indignation. I spent 
one part of the evening with my mother, and the 
other tete-ä-tete with Felix. We drank tea, and after 
a cosy chat he played me several of his glorious 
fugues, and ' Lieder ohne Worte' (manuscript). To- 
morrow, early, my mother leaves us. My time will 
hang heavy when she goes, but I must act like a 
man." 



MOSCHELES IN BERLIN. 327 

" Afternoon. — I have just come from a very pleasant 
dinner at Kistner's. Häuser, Dr. Schleinitz, Weise, 
Fink, and others were there, and I write you a few 
lines before I dress for the concert. Felix had just 
heard that his youngest sister had arrived ; his 
parents write, asking me to take her on to Berlin, and 
stay with them ; Felix begs me to do this, but I 
don't know if I can spare the time. Before dinner 
Felix and I went to my mother's house, where 
he played a great deal to her. Adieu ! Au 
re voir \" 

The next letter is dated from Berlin : " 14th October. 
I received your letter, with which I was delighted, on 
Monday, at Leipzig. After my mother's departure it 
came like soothing balsam." 

" Monday. — Now that you had encouraged me so 
heartily, I felt inclined to allow myself the trip to 
Berlin. You set all my doubts at rest. Felix and I 
accompanied his sister hither. Monday night we were 
up till twelve o'clock at a party given by Härtel, where 
I played solos and duets with Felix ; then I packed 
my things from one to two, and by six a.m. we were 
seated in the carriage. We had plenty of cheerful 
and delightful talk — you were a constant topic. 
Felix, whose sister is a very nice, amiable creature, had 
sent a letter to his parents, giving them notice of our 
intended arrival, but the letter miscarried, for, when 
we came after midnight, not a soul was stirring. The 
servants had to prepare our beds as best they could. 



328 • LIFE 0¥ MOSCHELES. 

There was nothing to eat, and we were all ravenous, 
so a great slice of my cake, brought by my mother 
from Prague, did excellent service. The meeting of 
the aged parents and their children next morning was 
a family fete, and gave me, a mere spectator, feelings 
of indescribable delight. This w r as enhanced by the 
fact of my being received and welcomed as affec- 
tionately as if I were a son. I see I shall be besieged 
on all sides, to abandon my purpose of starting off 
again this evening, and that it will end in my leaving 
Berlin twenty-four hours later. My nights, which have 
been broken into, my happy time here, and your 
words of encouragement, will, I suppose, make me fix 
on to-morrow." 

Felix adds : — 

" If you want to be angry at Moscheles' staying 
away from you a few days longer, you must be wroth 
with the whole of No. 3, Leipziger Strasse ; they 
are all guilty. He wanted to go away, although he 
only came yesterday (or rather to-day) at half-past one 
in the morning; but we humbly memorialized him 
and would have called in the police to detain him ; 
besides, you will have him again in Hamburg, and 
Holland, and London, whereas we must separate 
to-morrow, and shall not exchange words for a long 
time to come. In short, I entreated him, as fervently 
as I could, and hope you will put yourself in my 
position, for then I am sure you would have done just 
the same thing ; when you meet, Moscheles will bring 



THE MENDELSSOHN FAMILY. 329 

you all my and our greetings. The post is just going, 
so farewell, and don't be angry with 
" Your sincere friend, 

" F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy." 

In addition to this, Felix's father had dictated to 
him the following lines. " I must add my best remem- 
brances, and in telling you of my delight in the unex- 
pected visit of our excellent friend brought here by 
Felix, express my regret at the shortness of his 
stay. Pray accept my thanks for prevailing on him 
to give us this real pleasure. I hope you will thank 
me too for having induced Moscheles, after travelling- 
all night, not to start off again this evening in a 
1 Beiwagen/ whereas to-morrow evening he will have 
a place in the ' Postwagen/ Farewell, and remember 
me kindly, &c, &c." 

During this short visit Moscheles was an eye-witness 
of Felix's child -like sunny cheerfulness and perfect 
happiness in the bosom of his family. In a letter 
which Moscheles wrote to his wife late one evening, 
he says : " We have had a regular day of it. First of & 
all I played with Felix Mozart's f Duet in D,' for two 
pianofortes ; and my c Hommage ä Handel.' "We then 
allowed ourselves all manner of musical extravagances; 
extemporized jointly and alternately on two pianos — 
an intellectual sort of tournament. I played Felix's 
' Rondo Brillant in E flat,' and my ' Concerto Fan- 
tastique/ he supplying a substitute for an orchestral 



330 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

accompaniment on a second piano. We played by 
turns his { Lieder ohne Worte/ and then perpetrated 
all sorts of musical absurdities. Fanny Hensel pleased 
me immensely by the playing of her own compositions ; 
Felix and I had a good hunt in his collection of old 
music. Suffice it to say, I shall never forget the hours 
I passed here, and I unwillingly part from my delightful 
hosts, but I must pay a visit here and there before I 
leave. " 

During this short stay in Berlin, curiously enough, 
the theft practised on Moscheles in the year 1823, and 
mentioned in page 80 of this volume, was once more 
brought under Moscheles' notice. He knew well 
enough who had defrauded him, but the young man's 
confession and repeated promises to restore the 
property, induced Moscheles to abandon all idea of 
going to law. On the eve of Moscheles' departure 
from Berlin, the young man writes that he has met 
and recognised him in the streets, invokes on him 
all kinds of blessings for his forbearance, and, after 
informing him how he has hitherto subsisted as a lite- 
r rary man, ends by saying that he is unable at present 
to compensate Moscheles for his loss, offering however 
to give him a written acknowledgment of the debt. 
Moscheles declines this as an unnecessary formality, 
but on being told, by Felix's father, that the young man 
belongs to a respectable family in Berlin, requests the 
elder Mendelssohn to act on his behalf, and obtain, 
through some other member of the family, a restitution 



LETTER FROM MENDELSSOHN^ FATHER. 331 

of the property. Several letters during the next few days 
pass on the subject, when on the 29th of October he hears 
of the young man's sudden death. Mr. Mendelssohn 
then offers to proceed in the matter, and writes : — 

" The whole history, told in your simple language, is 
certainly a wonderful one, and illustrating, as it does, 
your discretion, kindness, and forethought, reminds 
me of Schiller's golden words, ' Und die Tugend, sie 
ist kein leerer Schall V (And virtue is no hollow sound). 
Unhappily the poor young man had no opportunity 
of redeeming himself; after making so many 
false steps, one would have hoped he had just begun 
to improve — that again reminds me of the golden rule 
of the Rabbis : ' Bessere dich eine Stunde vor deinem 
Tod (Try to improve an hour before your death)/ 
Further, it shows how talent and the best education 
are mere delusions, which lead their possessor to certain 
destruction, if the true inner light, character, and 
conscience do not sustain him in the right path. It 
shows, moreover, that all sin avenges itself in this 
world. Well, i Requiescat in pace/ 
" Always yours, 

" A. Mendelssohn Bartholdy." 

The sequel of this episode was as melancholy as 
it was unexpected. Felix's honoured father, Mos- 
cheles' faithful friend, died on the 19th of November 
in the same year, and the blow so prostrated Mos- 
cheles as to make him utterly indifferent to take 



332 LIFE OF MOSCHELES. 

any further action. To institute legal proceedings 
was utterly distasteful to hiin. He remained a con- 
siderable loser • the family of the yonng man, although 
reputed wealthy, having never thought it worth the 
trouble to clear the memory of their relative. 

After a short stay at Hamburg with his relatives, 
the last two months of the year were devoted by Mos- 
cheles to the pains and pleasures of con cert- giving in 
Belgium and Holland. Writing from Amsterdam, he 
observes : " I can't complain of the phlegmatic 
Dutch. In the year 1820, I enjoyed the hospitality 
of my friends the Konigswarters, and there wrote my 
Concerto in G minor, which was received as warmly 
as my subsequent compositions are now. I must play 
everywhere, and the pecuniary results are very 
gratifying/'' " But," adds Mrs. Moscheles, " in spite 
of all the musical honours heaped on my husband, we 
find some odd customs here. At the Subscription 
Concert, the first part is scarcely finished when all the 
gentlemen vanish. Where are they ? My olfac- 
tory nerves soon answer the question, as the tobacco 
fumes issue from the adjoining room. The ladies 
meanwhile drink chocolate and lemonade, and I, in 
my solitude, found time for studying the bareness of 
the four whitewashed walls of the concert room." 
Moscheles, here as elsewhere, complains of the bad 
orchestra. " The Directors take every imaginable pains. 
I myself seldom sit at the piano, when I rehearse a 
concerto, but run about between the leading violin 



CONCERTS IN HOLLAND. 333 

and double drum, up and down, whispering the note 
into the ear of every player; after all my trouble, 
the music will not { go/ I often omit a difficult Adagio, 
and in Rotterdam, where I had a very poor instru- 
ment to play upon, extemporized on Mozart's air, ' I 
can do nought but pity you/ and applied the words 
to myself. In spite of a violent attenlpt to encore me, 
I would not a second time face a struggle with the 
i refractory keys of the pianoforte." 

The troubles of concert-giving in the Belgian towns 
are largely compensated for by visits to the galleries, 
churches, and museums. Once returned to England, 
Moscheles can look back upon Holland as a store- 
house of happy memories for future years. 



END OF VOL. I. 



LONDON : 
SAYIIX, EDWARDS, AND CO., PRINTEBS, CHANDOS STREBT, 
COVENT GABDEN.